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Northern Ireland Summer of Sport

Golf, Rugby World Cup

Posted by Tourism NI

Published September 4, 2017


Summer 2017 will be remembered as a Summer of Sport in Northern Ireland. A number of world class events were successfully hosted, The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, 2017 UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship and the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017.

Northern Ireland Summer of Sport

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 6 - 9 July

Northern Ireland welcomed the return of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation with over 96,500 spectators. The AVE (advertising value equivalent) figure has been estimated at £1,046,575 with the combined reach of the coverage totalling over 90 million people.

This event delivered priceless TV exposure, increased visitor numbers, a positive contribution to the economy resulting in partnership approach from all involved in the organisation and delivery of the event and throughout the entire region.

“Organisation was fantastic, car parking and bus service was great, very easy. The Irish Open itself was very well run with food outlets, toilets and viewing areas easy to negotiate”….“We already programme Northern Ireland on most itineraries, I would be more confident in promoting the golf courses and events after the experience at this one.” Sandra Curtin – Hello Ireland Tours


2017 UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship 8 – 20 August

For the first time ever, the Irish Football Association hosted the Women’s Under-19 Championship in Northern Ireland. Eight national teams, including hosts Northern Ireland, participated in the prestigious 16-day tournament utilising venues across Northern Ireland.

The event was transmitted live in 77 countries via the two pan-regional networks of EUROSPORT (Europe) and beIN Sport (MENA). Live match coverage accounted for a cumulative 3.1 million viewers, a 32% increase on 2016 event.

18,438 spectators watched the tournament unfold across the venues in Northern Ireland of The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast; Mourneview Park, Lurgan; Ballymena Showgrounds and Shamrock Park, Portadown. Spain emerged victors against France after losing in the final four times in the last five years.

Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 9 – 26 August

Northern Ireland proudly hosted the semi-final and final of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017, a joint event with Republic of Ireland. Total attendance for final stages In Belfast was 26,970 and with TV broadcast to over 50 countries, a peak of 2.65 million tuned in to ITV in the UK to watch the final – the largest single audience for a Women’s Rugby World Cup final. There were 45 million views across official tournament platforms, making the WRWC 2017 the best-performing World Rugby event of the year and biggest since RWC 2015.

The 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup has been declared by World Rugby the best Women’s Rugby World Cup to date.

Tourism NI worked with industry partners to ensure that this event was the best attended, most viewed and most engaged in its history, hopefully strengthening perceptions and in turn the bid for The Rugby World Cup 2023.


Posted by Tourism NI

Produced by Tourism NI