Manchester has been chosen as the host city for the first Soccerex European Forum – a new event organised by Soccerex as part of their networking events for the football industry.
The deal will see the forum take place at Manchester Central for the next four years, from 2010 to 2013.
Each year, the two-day event is expected to attract around 2,000 delegates from around the world, will include seminars by leading industry figures and footballing legends; and will generate between £1.5 million and £2.5million economic benefit for the city.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Soccerex will build on the incredibly successful sporting year that Manchester celebrated in 2008. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the city before our hosting of the football aspects of the 2012 Olympics and will do no harm to the UK’s proposed World Cup bid for 2018. I also think it shows with what high regard the city is held when it comes to the hosting of major sporting events.”
Andrew Stokes, chief executive of Marketing Manchester, the agency that led the bid to bring the event to the city, said: “It’s fantastic. What better place to host an international football forum than here in Manchester, which is arguably the football capital of the world. Not only does this event bring significant financial benefit to the city, it also enhances our reputation on the international football circuit and is yet another example of the value of business tourism to Manchester.”
Peter Mearns, executive director of marketing and communications at the NWDA, which is supporting Soccerex in Manchester, said: “The partnership of Manchester and Soccerex fits perfectly. This is a city known across the world for its passion for football and sport, but is also renowned as a world class location in which to do business. Sport is a huge industry and in light of our proud sporting heritage in the Northwest, we are well placed to access the economic and social benefits it brings. Soccerex represents a golden opportunity to do this. I am pleased we have been able to work with all partners to bring such a prestigious and exciting opportunity to Manchester and the region.”
The decision to host the forum in Manchester was announced by Duncan Revie, the chief executive of Soccerex and Bryan Robson, the former England captain and Soccerex Ambassador.
Duncan Revie said: “I am delighted that our first ever European forum will be held in Manchester, a city rich in footballing heritage that has brought us legends of European football like Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best and was home to my father in his playing days with Manchester City. It will provide a great location for Soccerex to continue its long and successful history of serving the business needs of the European football industry.”
Of the venue, Lesley Tomlinson, chief executive of Manchester Central, said: “Manchester Central is one of the premier venues in Europe and our city centre location and range of flexible facilities make us ideal for an event of this nature. As the first city centre venue selected to host political party conferences, we have already demonstrated our expertise in delivering large-scale and complex events. Soccerex represents another significant business win for us and we look forward to welcoming the event to Manchester Central in 2010.”