FINA Pays Off For Windsor, Big Time

Kylie Masse dives into the water for the women's 200m backstroke final at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary on July 29, 2017 (Photo courtesy of Ian MacNicol/Swimming Canada)

A report to Windsor city council says Windsor enjoyed $32-million in economic activity as a result of hosting the 2016 FINA World Swimming Championships.

Total spending by out-of-town spectators and event organizers is estimated at $27.7-million, generating $42-million in economic activity across the province including the boost to the local economy.

On top of the championship, those attending and organizing the preceding FINA World Aquatics Convention spent more than $2.7-million in the city, generating another $3.7-million in local economic activity.

The report, which will be reviewed Monday night by councillors, says a total of 23,222 spectators came out to watch the event at the WFCU Centre, but the estimated global audience is around 462-million.

Athletes from 153 countries competed.

To date, FINA World Swimming Championships is the biggest sporting event ever hosted by Windsor. In turn, Windsor is the smallest city ever to host it.

The city had an overall budget of just over $11-million for the five-day event last December. After the championships, it still had $146,311 left over. The report recommends asking the provincial and federal governments’ permission to use that money on legacy projects. Another $116,191 unspent could go to the capital budget.