Madrid, May 24 (IANS) The UEFA Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid will generate an economic impact of 123 million euros ($137 million), of which at least 66 million will be invested in the Spanish capital across sectors like leisure, accommodation, gastronomy and souvenirs, according to a tourism official.
The coordinator of the Business Union for Tourism Promotion in Madrid, Vicente Pizcueta, told Efe that the city should brace for the arrival of between 60,000-70,000 English fans, some 34,000 of whom will have bought their ticket to the final through their club.
With just eight days until kick off, those looking to book hotel accommodation for the weekend of June 1 will find that the price per night has doubled or even tripled, as is usual with this type of event.
In fact, Pizcueta estimates that the average fan looking to spend two nights in the Spanish capital can expect to fork out somewhere between 500-1,000 euros just for a hotel stay while those who have waited until the last minute to sort out a place to stay could be looking at a total accommodation cost of 2,000 euros.
Hotel capacity in Madrid “will overflow and reach 100 percent, while that of the community (the wider Madrid region) will exceed 90 percent,” according to Pizcueta.
The Hotel Business Association of Madrid (AEHM) foresees an average room occupation of 95 percent and said that all the establishments registered with the association already have more than 90 percent of their rooms booked out.
Meliá Hotels International, a Spanish chain, told Efe in a statement that 94 percent of their rooms in Madrid had already been booked out, although “reservations are still coming.”
The chain said it was charging an average price per night of around 300 euros, excluding suites.
However, hotels are not the only benefactors of the soccer competition. Owners of small guesthouses, known as pensiones, have quintupled their prices from 50 to 250 euros a night, according to data handled by the Business Union for Tourism Promotion in Madrid.
Airbnb announced that it will host more than 32,000 English guests during the week of the final and has even produced a guide for its clients urging responsible behavior and offering tips on the city, including where to eat tapas and churros.
To cope with the massive arrival of fans of both teams, airlines have increased their chartered routes between the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain.
Ryanair will charter two additional flights from Liverpool, one from Dublin and three from London, while Easyjet has offered additional seats for 1,500 passengers over the weekend.
Iberia has added 17 additional flights, including six charter flights, and has placed larger aircraft on its regular routes to bring its capacity up to 15,617 passengers.
Madrid’s commuter system, the Cercanías, which connects the city’s major transport hubs and the airport, will boost its capacity to accommodate 300,000 extra passengers over the weekend and will double its frequency on the day of the final.
The traveling fans are expected to spend an average of 300 euros both days on food and drink, which would mean an income for the catering sector of 18 million euros, according to Pizcueta.