The victorious 2011 European Solheim Cup Team at Killeen Castle

The 2011 Solheim Cup, held at Killeen Castle, Co Meath, from 22 to 25 September 2011, was worth €37 million according to new post event analysis by Repucom International and Sports Marketing Surveys. The study, which was commissioned by Ladies European Tour, was based on information provided by the event organisers, an on-site spectator surveying and an analysis of the extensive media coverage arising.

The event’s total economic impact for the host county of Meath was €23 million, with an additional €14 million of value arising from brand exposure through international television, print and online coverage.

In addition in the build up to the matches there have been four Ladies Irish Opens to date with the next one scheduled to be played this August, once again at Killeen Castle.

Speaking today, the Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD, warmly welcomed the findings: “I am delighted to see that The Solheim Cup brought a significant economic benefit to Meath and to Ireland as a whole.  Just as important was the fact that visitors to The Solheim Cup went away satisfied, with 90 per cent saying that they enjoyed the experience. The challenge now is to build on this and ensure that we continue to reap the benefits of hosting The Solheim Cup.”

With the official attendance recorded at over 85,000, spectators during the week at Killeen Castle braved the weather especially on the final day. A total of 17 per cent of visitors were from overseas of which over half had travelled from the US. These overseas visitors spent on average at least 4 days in Ireland enjoying the tournament and the warm Irish hospitality. Spectators rated the tournament highly with 90 per cent satisfaction rates, with the traditional Irish Welcome topping the poll at 96 per cent by overseas visitors.

Pointing to the fact that Ireland beat some serious competition in its bid to bring the Solheim here, Fáilte Ireland’s Chairman, Redmond O’Donoghue said: “The Solheim Cup provided a unique shop window to the world for Ireland to showcase all that it has to offer as a golfing destination. Beyond promoting a positive image of Ireland for visitors, the Solheim Cup allowed us to show that this country can host international events as well as the rest of them and arguably better than most.  It provided us with an important calling card as we set out to win other significant sporting events to these shores in our on-going work to capture a greater profile and market share for Irish tourism.”

Over 1,200 hours of coverage from The 2011 Solheim Cup played at Killeen Castle, Co Meath, Ireland were broadcasted globally with 7.6 million viewers tuning in to watch the action. This was a massive 87% increase on the 2007 matches.  In addition, The 2011 Solheim Cup featured in 2,361 print articles and 6,115 online articles.  The Ladies European Tour is grateful to its broadcaster partners including Sky Sports, The Golf Channel and RTE in Ireland alongside the multi-region broadcasters Eurosport, Viasat, Star Sport and ESPN which ensured that everyone had the chance to see the incredible finish.

“On behalf of the Ladies European Tour we were absolutely delighted with the event and the support we have received over the past four years from the Irish government, corporate Ireland and the passionate and educated Irish golfing public. The event was a superb showcase for ladies’ professional golf and proves to the world the quality, passion and excitement of the ladies’ game. We very much value all the friendships we have made in Ireland and look forward to returning to Killeen Castle this summer where we all have such happy memories,” commented Alexandra Armas, Executive Director of the Ladies European Tour.

Meath’s Director of Economic Development, Kevin Stewart, said: “Meath was delighted to welcome The 2011 Solheim Cup to the county. We worked hard to help deliver a memorable event and we are pleased to see the very positive impact that it had for Meath businesses and for the local economy.”

About The Solheim Cup:

The Solheim Cup is named in honour of Karsten Solheim, and his family, the makers of PING golf equipment. The Solheim Cup is the most prestigious international team event in women’s professional golf. It is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the LPGA and the best European-born players representing the Ladies European Tour (LET). The U.S. Team leads the competition, 8-4. The 2013 Solheim Cup will be contested at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado. In addition to founding sponsor PING, Rolex is a Global Partner of The Solheim Cup. For tournament information, log on to www.solheimcup.com.

About the Ladies European Tour:

The Ladies European Tour (LET) is Europe’s leading women’s professional golf tour and formed as the WPGA in 1978. Over the last 33 years, the tour has developed into a truly international organisation and in 2012 will operate 25 golf tournaments in 20 different countries worldwide. The LET professional players represent 34 countries and their game is broadcast in 240 million homes in 80 countries around the globe. Follow the LET online at ladieseuropeantour.com or on Twitter @LETgolf.