Bristol

Bristol World Cup fan park cost £270,000

Bristol's World Cup fan park cost the city council three times more than expected, the BBC has learned.

The facility in Queen Square, which screened 39 of the football games, cost the authority almost £270,000.

A council statement said the three-fold rise on the original budget reflected the "unexpected costs" of extra fencing, policing and ticketing.

It said the final figure also reflected loss of revenue from alcohol sales after the park became a "dry" site.

Lessons learned

Security arrangements at the park were reviewed after people were turned away from watching England's first match due to a lack of space.

Sections of fencing were torn down during the screening by fans trying to see into the park.

Decisions were taken by the council to ban alcohol from future events and to make them a ticketed affair, after strong representations from the police.

Councillor Simon Cook, deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, said there were lessons to be learned from the final costs.

He said: "There were cost implications which we didn't expect and some glitches too - particularly after the first England match when we needed to revise our entry control systems - and over the sale of alcohol, which would otherwise have been a big revenue raiser.

"We have learnt some valuable lessons, which will stand us in good stead should England win the bid to host the 2018 World Cup, which would be worth millions to the city."

Councillor Cook said the council and its partners were now better placed to plan and successfully deliver similar future events and to impose tighter financial controls.

He added that the park was one of only two official FIFA fan parks in the UK and had attracted more than 75,000 football fans.

"At the end of the day, the numbers visiting the fan park speak for themselves. Local people wanted to watch the 2010 World Cup on the big screen and they came in their thousands.

"This summer showed how Bristol people are fully behind the 2018 bid."

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