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Vital Statistics

  • Exports account for over 20 per cent of the output of most sports goods manufacturers and Britain is the seventh largest market in the world for sports goods.
  • It is estimated that Britain's total consumer spending on sports and fitness is worth annually around 6.3 billion pounds.

  • The fitness industry is worth more than 1 billion pounds and is growing at an expected rate of 50 per cent over the next five years.

  • The areas of most significant growth in sports participation have been the individual 'fitness' type activities such as weight training, swimming, keep fit, cycling and running. There has been a decline in the proportion of adults taking part in indoor sports (snooker/pool/billiards/darts and tenpin bowls). Ball and racket sports have also declined slightly.

Sports equipment

  • The British sports equipment market is dominated by golf, which is worth 350 million pounds annually but is being caught up by the fitness goods market, currently worth 230 million pounds.

Sports Clothing and Footwear

  • Sport as fashion has been the main reason for the boom in the sports clothing and footwear market, worth over 2.5 billion pounds a year in Britain.
  • One of the boom areas in the 1990s has been replica football and rugby team kit which has helped fuel the trend of sport as a fashion.
  • In the sports footwear market the outdoor look of 'brown' shoes has established itself as an important sector of the sports shoe market.


Three projects create world class sporting stadia in Britain.

  1. The centrepiece will be the new National Stadium at Wembley. Costing 320 million pounds, it will seat 80,000. The old Wembley Stadium, which staged its first FA Cup Final in 1932, hosted the Olympics in 1948 and the World Cup Final in 1966, will be redeveloped. When it is completed in 2001, it will be technically the most advanced in the world, offering unrivalled spectator comforts.
  2. The Millennium Stadium on the site of Cardiff Arms Park seats 72,500 and is the first stadium in Britain with a retractable roof. It cost 130 million pounds and hosted the Rugby Union World Cup Final in 1999.
  3. In Manchester a 90 million pounds state-of-the-art stadium will be built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The 48,000-seat complex is expected to become the home of Manchester City Football Club. It will also become the focal point of a so-called 'Sport City' and will include the existing velodrome, an indoor tennis centre and a sports academy.

(Source: Britain's Sports and Fitness Industry by Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London 1999)

See also: Not So Vital Statistics

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