Cardiff’s success in hosting the UEFA Champions League Final has been hailed as yet another Welsh success story on the world events stage by Ian Edwards, CEO at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Wales and Celtic Manor Resort.
The world’s biggest single sporting occasion took place in the Welsh capital this weekend, reaffirming the reputation of South Wales as a destination capable of hosting significant international events.
Celebrating the crowning of Real Madrid as Champions League winners at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Ian Edwards said: “Following the hosting of the 2014 NATO Summit and the 2010 Ryder Cup, the UEFA Champions League Final in Cardiff yet again underlines the ability of South Wales to host major international events. We might be the smallest nation to stage the final so far, but the combination of logistical expertise and Welsh passion for sport made this the most memorable of occasions for fans both in Cardiff and watching all around the world.”
The new ICC Wales at Celtic Manor Resort will open in 2019. The leadership team aims to capitalise on the growing reputation of South Wales as a major events destination to attract business events to the new venue.
Ian Edwards continued: “No-one can doubt Wales’s experience and reputation in staging world-class events. The Champions League Final was a fantastic opportunity to build the brand of Cardiff and Wales more widely to a global audience. It’s not just about the visiting fans or the worldwide TV exposure, it’s also about the number of sponsors, corporates and companies who will see that South Wales is serious about business of all kinds. We aim to make the most of this in promoting ICC Wales to the business events community”.
Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates added: “Wales continues to punch well above its weight when it comes to hosting major events, with the stunning success of the UEFA Champions League Final re-affirming our standing as world class hosts. The welcome, atmosphere and organisation was first class and there will be millions of people across the globe who will have sat up and took notice of Cardiff and Wales as a place to visit, work and do business.
“Having a first rate Convention Centre will only add to our offering. It will open up Wales as a venue for further events and I look forward to continuing to working with Celtic Manor Resort and others to ensure the world continues to see and enjoy Wales’ increasingly impressive offering.”
The Champions League Final is now considered to be the world’s most watched single sporting event, broadcast in over 200 countries to an estimated global average audience of 150m – viewing figures greater than those achieved by the NFL Superbowl in America. Direct spending in Cardiff and its vicinity was expected to reach around £45m in the period between 1-4 June.
Opening in 2019, the ICC Wales is located within the grounds of the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport just two minutes from the M4. The new-build 26,000sqm venue will accommodate 5,000 delegates and includes a 4,000sqm pillar-free main hall, a 1,500-seated auditorium, 12 flexible meeting rooms, a double-height glass atrium and a 2,500sqm outdoor plaza for outside events and teambuilding.
The ICC Wales is a joint venture between the owners of the Celtic Manor Resort and Welsh Government and is managed by Celtic Manor’s expert leadership team responsible for the successful delivery of the 2014 NATO Summit and the 2010 Ryder Cup.