ccs-62657-0-09185100-1410342331.jpg

The UCI MTB and Trials World Championships, the Union Cycliste International’s (UCI) flagship mountain biking event held at the Cascades MTB Park in 2013, drew in revenue of around R35 million for the week that event took place in 'Africa's Bike City'. It was a fairy tale ending as hometown hero Greg Minnaar won the elite men's downhill world title in front of huge home support.

These figures emerged as part of a review of the past six years partnership to attract top cycling events to the city, one of only three worldwide to be formally endorsed by the international governing body the Union Cycliste International (UCI) as a global “Bike City”, the others being Copenhagen and Melbourne. The province committed R49 million to the hosting costs over this time period, which offered a huge return on investment for the province.

Between 2008 and 2014 the city has been responsible for hosting 27 different cycling events from the national BMX championships to the UCI MTB and Trials World Championships in 2013 and the MTB Marathon World Championships in June of this year – two of the biggest mountain biking events in the world.

Over this time period R171 million in direct spend has been generated in businesses in the region from hosting the events, this is in comparison to the R49 million that it has cost the province to host the events which shows the success of these events.

Having hosted three UCI MTB World Cups at the Cascades MTB Park the UCI granted the city the opportunity to host its flagship mountain biking event in 2013 and when the numbers were crunched the MTB and Trials World Championships were responsible for generating a benefit of over R35 million. This is in contrast to the R5 million that was spent on hosting the global showpiece.

International events have formed the backbone of the recent success of Pietermaritzburg as a cycling hub with the 2010 UCI BMX World Championships at the Royal Showgrounds proving to be a successful platform layer for the rest of the international events that the city has organised.

A vital aspect when it comes to revenue generated is television and media. These two elements have played a significant role in the success of these events in the past. During the UCI MTB and Trials World Championships in 2013 it is estimated that the event generated around R3 Billion which was hugely influential in the final figure of R5 Billion being generated by media and television.

ccs-62657-0-44299200-1410342424.jpg

2014 saw the return of the ever popular UCI MTB World Cup to Pietermaritzburg for the fourth time and over the four years of hosting it has brought in approximately R20 million of the R171 million worth of revenue that the city has brought in over the past six years. The 2014 World Cup saw Swiss ace Jolande Neff claim the women's cross country title.

The province is not prepared to rest on its laurels when it comes to hosting major events and has developed a jam-packed schedule that already began in 2014 and heading into the next four years with a few MTB & BMX World Cup events as well as the African Continental Championships for both track and road in 2015.

With two African continental titles up for grabs in Pietermaritzburg in 2015 the city is also going to be hosting the UCI African Confederation Cycling Forum that will bring together the cycling bodies from all over the continent to discuss the future of the sport in Africa.

2016 will be the next year that the city will be hosting a World Championship with the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships using Pietermaritzburg as its chosen venue for the showpiece event. This will bring the total of World Championships hosted in Pietermaritzburg to six – the most ever by one city worldwide. It is also planned to stage the 2018 UCI BMX World Championships in the city.

With an eye on possibly hosting the cycling events should Durban successfully bid to host the Commonwealth Games, Cycling South Africa and the KZN Department of Sport & Recreation is putting into place a four year development programme that will involve 11 districts in the area hosting events with the best districts being selected to host provincial events.

Having gained a lot of experience when it comes to hosting world class cycling events Pietermaritzburg is committed to growing the sport in the area with a number of ways in the next four years. CSA and the Department of Sport & Recreation will also develop coaches, athletes, mechanics as well as administrators in this four year period. Creating transformation, economic empowerment and social cohesion are goals that they have planned to achieve going forward.

Statistics

  • Number of Events - 2008 to 2014 - 27
  • Total International and National Riders + Crew - 23 222
  • Total International and National Media + Officials - 1 529
  • Total Number of International and National Visitors (Spectators) - 123 350
  • Total Number of Participants (Riders, Crew, Media, Spectators etc) - 148 101
  • Number of Participants per Event - 5 485
  • Foreign Participants as a % of National Participants - 16%
  • Total Costs Spend in PMB - 74%
  • Total Revenue Raised for Hosting the Events - R 170 553 040
  • Total Revenue per Event - R 6 316 779
  • Total Revenue per Participant - R 1 152
  • Total Direct Spend - R 134 570 091
  • Total Direct, Indirect and Induced Spend - R 361 993 545
  • Total Costs of Hosting the Events (27 events) - R49 million
  • Total Revenue Generated from Hosting the Events (27 events) - R171 million
  • Total Value of TV/Media Coverage - R5 billion
  • Total No of TV Hours: Local & International - 1 700
  • Total Number of Events (2008 to 2018) 71
  • Total Costs to the Provincial Government (2008 to 2018) R87 million

Upcoming major events 2015 onwards:

2015

African Continental Champs - Track January

African Continental Champs - Road February

International MTB Festival April

UCI 1.2 Women Road Race May

UCI Africa Confederation Cycling Forum July

2016

UCI Elite Track Challenge January

Para Cycling Track World Championships March

International MTB Festival April

UCI BMX Supercross World Cup May / June

UCI 1.2 Women Road Race May

2017

UCI Elite Track Challenge January

CSA Super Series - BMX, MTB, Road, Track & Para February

International MTB Festival April

UCI BMX Supercross World Cup May / June

UCI 1.2 Women Road Race May

2018

UCI Elite Track Challenge January

African Super Series - BMX, MTB, Road, Track & Para February

International MTB Festival April

UCI 1.2 Women Road Race May

UCI BMX World Championships August

2019

African Super Series - BMX, MTB, Road, Track & Para February