April 19, 2009

Can U2 save Dublin's Economy?

Found this article on independent.ie.

To see it on the independent site, click here.

I've also pasted it below. Thanks and credit to the author.

ROCK MAGNETS: fans from all over the world will be coming to Dublin to worship at the altar of U2 Photo: Getty Images


Sunday April 19 2009

The head of Dublin Tourism has suggested that a U2 concert in Dublin every year could have a profoundly positive effect on the economy.

And business leaders and the GAA are predicting a €50m bonanza for Dublin in July when the band play three concerts in Croke Park.

The band will play to 250,000 fans over three days, many of them coming to Ireland from overseas.

"These concerts are attracting thousands of fans from all over the world and during these times are a welcome huge economic boost worth over €50m to Dublin and Ireland," said Aebhric McGibney, policy director of Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

"It is also an opportunity for Ireland to showcase our Irish culture and heritage showing the world, what we do best."

According to Dublin Tourism, it will be the first time in several years that every hotel in Dublin and surrounding area has a good chance of being fully booked.

"A U2 home concert is the equivalent of Ireland winning the Grand Slam five times in the one season at home," said Dublin Tourism boss Frank McGee.

"Over 250,000 will attend the concerts, all spending money on food, drink and accommodation. "If only we could have one every year."

He added that a combined crowd of 250,000 in Ireland was the pro rata equivalent of playing in front of front of three million people in the UK. The first 165,000 tickets for the concerts sold out within 40 minutes of going on sale, setting a new Irish box office record and becoming the fastest-selling ticket ever here. The concert dates are July 24, 25 and 27.

Eamonn O'Connor, managing director of Ticketmaster, said: "U2 are bigger now than they've ever been. They are without doubt the biggest touring act in the world".

GAA stadium director, Peter McKenna, said: "It is like having three All Ireland Finals back to back. These aren't just Irish concerts, they are truly international events with fans travelling from Brazil to Canada, Australia to Japan -- this is Croke Park and the city of Dublin on show to the world."


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