Benefit of Sport Tourism to Cobourg in 2017

At the last Committee of the Whole Meeting, Dean Hustwick, Director of Recreation and Culture reported on four major Sporting Events that were hosted in Cobourg and that provided Cobourg with significant economic benefits.  Dean said that the report is a collaborative effort involving several members of his team – both Community Services Manager Chris Elliott and Sports and Events Coordinator Ashley Haynes spoke on the subject.  Chris made it clear that he would continue to look for revenue opportunities and make sure they were then Marketed successfully.   Ashley said that the participants in the 2017 events were strongly encouraged to go out into the community and she knew that they did in fact visit the beach and restaurants – local businesses reported that business was up during the events.  Going forward, they would build on the success in 2017.

There are two financial measurements of interest: 1) the event operating budget and 2) the impact on the Town.

Summary of Event Budgets

Event Total Revenue Total Expenses Net
Ontario Men’s & Women’s Curling Championship * Not provided $211,864 * Not provided
Canadian U16 Boys Fast Pitch Championship $39,299 $38,038 $1,260
Ontario 55+ Winter Games $432, 197 $417,150 $15,047
RBC Cup $433,485 $466,262 ($32,777)

* Despite repeated requests, the WNCC did not provide the Town with a final financial statement for the event.  A good guess would be that they made a significant profit.

Ontario Men’s & Women’s Curling Championship

Chris Elliott
Chris Elliott

Council approved a contribution of $10,000 from the Cobourg Community Centre’s (CCC) Special Events budget for the marketing and promotion of the event and a financial guarantee if the event lost money to a maximum of the value of the CCC rental fees. [No request to cover losses has been received].  Note that 100 Full Tournament Passes, 157 Playoff Weekend Passes, 195 Round Robin Day Passes and 864 Single Draw Tickets were sold.

There was no estimate of hotel rooms filled.

In addition, there was a significant amount of CCC staff time allocated (556 hours).  However, although some “other rentals” had to be cancelled because of the event, there was a net gain of $13,266 for the period of the event and the CCC canteen net revenue after expenses was $25,376.  

2017 Ontario 55+ Winter Games

The Town’s contribution to this event was predominantly the provision of facilities at no cost and municipal staff time.  The report estimated that for the CCC this translated to lost revenue of about $5k. The Middle Night Mingle event was a huge marketing and tourism success for the Town of Cobourg. In collaboration with the DBIA, downtown Cobourg was very busy on a Wednesday night in February with both games participants and local citizens.

Hotels in the area reported 890 room-nights provided.  Canteen profits were not increased by this event.

2017 RBC Cup

Like the curling event, the Town of Cobourg provided the event with $10,000 from the CCC Special Events budget for marketing and promotion.  Also like the curling event, Council provided a financial guarantee to a maximum of the value of the facility rental costs if the RBC Cup lost money. As the event did experience a loss, facility rental costs were waived and this is reflected in the budget numbers. The total lost rental revenue for the CCC totalled $15,355.  The Sporting Events Coordinator spent 850 hours leading up to the event and Ashley and others spent 1,168 hours organizing the event.  Total staff contribution cost is estimated at $50K. The canteens had net revenue after expenses of $17,852.  Local Hotels reported 625 room-nights.

2017 Canadian U16 Boys Fast Pitch Championship

The Town of Cobourg granted this event $2,000 to use toward marketing efforts as well as a $4,000 promissory note to be used to assist with start-up costs, which has been repaid. The report said that “participating teams did fill up local hotels”.

Economic Impact

An online tool provided by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model – TREIM) provided a way of estimating the economic impact. This works by feeding in the event revenues and calculates GDP and taxes that are increased by the event. [In the case of the Curling event where organizers failed to provide revenue numbers, it was assumed that revenues equaled expenses)  The tool did not include Cobourg explicitly so Northumberland was used to specify the geographic region.

Estimated economic benefits

Event Benefit to Northumberland
Taxes GDP
Curling $139K $270K
55+ Winter Games $155k $487K
RBC Cup $308K $669K
U16 Boys Fast Pitch $126K $256K
Total $728K $1,682K

The  report says that for each event, organizers focused on local spending so most of the benefit would have come to Cobourg.

Other benefits include the demonstration to the world that Cobourg and the CCC is capable of holding major events, expanding Cobourg’s volunteer base and providing wide media coverage of Cobourg.

With four major events in 2017, it will be a hard act to follow – so far there have been no announcements of major sporting events in 2018.  The new Community Services Manager, Chris Elliott, will have his hands full soliciting events as well as shepherding the Cultural Master plan through Council and the public in an election year.

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Old Sailor
6 years ago

Any chance of a “Best Western 2” type inn locating in town close? Possibly closer to the CCC or on the other side of town nearer to Port Hope??

Rupolph the blue tailed moose
Reply to  Old Sailor
6 years ago

I don’t really understand what you are asking. There is a Comfort Inn on the east side of town and also one in Port Hope.

6 years ago

I assume that the $728K of taxes represent the HST collected on food, tickets, gasoline, hotel rooms, etc. Why would non-property taxes provide any benefit to Cobourg? Why even list the amount other than to deceive the public?