Tour de France Grand Départ Utrecht by numbers
On Saturday the 4th of July the 102nd edition of the Tour de France will start in Utrecht. It is the sixth Dutch city to host the Tour after Amsterdam (1954), Scheveningen (1973), Leiden (1978), Den Bosch (1996) and Rotterdam (2010). The presentation of the teams was already a success, with 12,000 fans enjoying the first official Tour activity on Thursday.
Grand Départ Utrecht
It is a massive undertaking to host the Grand Départ of the biggest cycling competition in the world. The Grand Depart Utrecht organisation has organised many (promotional) activities in the months leading up to this weekend. This whole week is a celebration of cycling and Utrecht, and the organisation is trying hard, and so far succeeding, to make the city shine in a festive manner.
The Tour has made the right decision in awarding the start to a city with a love for cycling. According to the 2015 Copenhagenize Index, Utrecht is the third most bicycle-friendly city, only behind Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Three Dutch cities are in the top 5, supporting the notion that The Netherlands is a bicycle-country.
€34 million economic stimulation for Utrecht
Financial institution ING has done research into the economic impact of the Grand Départ and estimates that the event will give the city of Utrecht a €34 million economic injection. It is in particular beneficial to the horeca industry, but also for retail stores and the transportation industry.
ING expects 100,000 visitors before the start of the Tour de France on Saturday and 900,000 spectators in total. Earlier evaluations have shown that foreigners spend on average €55 per day, Dutch spectators from outside the city (Utrecht) €25 and locals €14. Total extra spending (excluding hotel cost) is expected to be around 17.5 million Euros. Utrecht’s mere 1,500 hotel rooms have been fully booked for months, but individuals offer places to stay through sites as Airbnb and there are several Tour-camp-sites.
In addition to the many spectators visiting, the world media will cover the event and thus free publicity for the city of Utrecht. The municipality of Utrecht hopes to get €15 million worth of media coverage.
Cost: 15.4 million Euros
According to Dutch organisation Sponsorreport the Grand Départ Utrecht organisation has raised €15.4 million – including €6.85 million private capital – and will be able to balance the books. The municipality of Utrecht has contributed €6 million, the province of Utrecht €100,000 and the Dutch government €2.25 million.
Total cost is estimated to be €15.4 million, with the fee to ASO to hold the Grand Départ (€4 million), the parcours, technique, safety and mobility costs (€3.9 million) and the organisation costs (€2.7 million) as main expenses.
More than prologue and start of 2nd stage
The organisers have made the event into more than just the 14-kilometer time trial and the start of the second stage. Many events take (and have taken) place around the city of Utrecht, such as:
- A test event was held last week, where almost 14,000 people got a chance to ride the exact parcours of the prologue.
- Central Station has been transformed (and temporary been renamed) into Mont Catherine with all kind of elements you expect in a French town or city (e.g. street artists and markets).
- Fans get a chance to virtually ride the prologue. Nine specialized racing bikes are available to ‘ride’ through the city (projected on a screen).
- Music and art shows are being held throughout the city with the theme cycling.