We may not know which two teams will be contesting it yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start getting excited about the 2017 Champions League final at the Principality Stadium.
Indeed, with the round of 16 starting today, we’re one step closer to the big day on June 3rd this year.
Now, don’t get us wrong, the prospect of watching two of Europe’s footballing juggernauts on our doorstep is tantalising. Just imagine Bale vs Messi on the former’s home soil, for example.
But what’s got us really excited is the fact that the eyes of the world will be on the Welsh capital: anywhere up to 380 million pairs of eyes in over 200 countries, if previous viewing figures for the final are anything to go by.
As far as global appeal and stature is concerned, the Champions League final is up there with the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup and the Super Bowl. And that’s a big deal, for many reasons.
First and foremost, the financial benefit for Cardiff will be huge; last year’s final saw Milan enjoy a £45m economic impact, thanks in no small part to the fact that over 300,000 people visited the designated fanzone. Cardiff might not be as big a city as the Italian capital, but the relative gain and footfall cannot be underestimated.
Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for local business to benefit, it’s a great chance for a large visiting population to enjoy what Cardiff has to offer on a wider scale.
From heritage sites to the arts, Cardiff boasts a history and culture to rival any European city; the Champions League final will be a great vehicle to drive that notion to tourists, increasing the likelihood for repeat visits in the future as a result.
In the run up to the match itself, the media coverage surrounding not only Cardiff but also Wales, will be vastly augmented. From news reports to TV features, traditional press articles to online pieces, the increased media spotlight will only add to the worldwide conversation surrounding our nation.
Since the Rugby World Cup in 1999, Cardiff has played host to a number of high-profile sporting events, from FA Cup finals to the 2014 UEFA Super Cup (the latter we were proud to work on with a creative advertising campaign for UEFA).
Indeed, the city has already shown that it’s more than capable of hosting big sporting events. A successful Champions League final will only further Cardiff’s credentials as a host city superpower, boding well for future events.
And, as an advertising agency at the heart of the city, we can’t wait to see what future events they may be.