While cricket enthusiasts thoroughly enjoyed the matches during this year’s inaugural SA20 campaign, a study reveals that the widely popular series had a substantial impact on the nation’s economy.
The premier T20 league’s first year in South Africa achieved remarkable success, boasting unprecedented attendance at the six host venues. The league was widely praised for injecting renewed investment and excitement into domestic cricket.
With over 70% of tickets sold across the 33 matches, including six sold-out games and the final, the economic impact assessment (EIA) commissioned by the SA20 league expanded the evaluation of its success. The study highlighted the positive effects on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), household income, employment, and direct expenditure.
The series, featuring some of the world’s best players, generated R1.4 billion in direct expenditure in South Africa, creating 8,223 annualized employment opportunities. A total contribution of R4.1 billion was made to South Africa’s GDP, with R958 million contributing to household income. Cricket South Africa noted that the EIA also demonstrated the substantial stimulus on local communities through team investments in franchises, benefiting league staff, venues, and vendors.
SA20 league commissioner Graeme Smith remarked, ‘When we set out to find suitable franchises to partner with SA20, our main goal was to ensure a significant economic investment into the league and South African cricket, but an event such as this has a far wider impact.’
He added, ‘The results from the EIA are a true testament to the legacy we want to create as a league. Delivering a world-class cricket product is our key focus, but the knock-on effects, which include investment into the economy, job opportunities, and profiling South Africa as a tourist destination in key source markets, have been fantastic.’
The second season of the SA20 series, featuring six IPL-owned franchise teams, is set to commence on January 10, 2024.
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