Fans return to outdoor events as sports fund is allocated

January 21, 2022 - 209 views

As restrictions for outdoor spectator sports move to alert level zero this weekend, the first phase of the Welsh Government’s £3 million Spectator Sports Fund is now being allocated, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, has confirmed.

When Ministers announced the introduction of alert level two restrictions on 21 December to combat the Omicron variant in Wales, which included playing sports behind closed doors from 26 December, a £3 million Spectator Sports Fund was simultaneously announced to support the sector.

The first phase, covering the period from 26 December to 9 January, is now being allocated. It provides funding of more than £1 million to football, rugby union, and ice hockey fixtures that have taken place over that period and three horseracing meetings.

The Deputy Minister, said: "The spread of the omicron variant over Christmas meant measures had to be introduced to keep Wales safe, which included sporting events taking place behind closed doors.

"Of course, this was a disappointment to many, but we were hopeful to get crowds back as soon as it was safe to do so.

"With the improving public health data, we now have the confidence to get everyone back to enjoying their favourite sport once more.

"Throughout the pandemic sport has been severely affected, which is why we acted quickly to deliver the Spectator Sports Fund to the sports which would suffer a hit to their revenue as a result of the alert level 2 measures.

"I’m pleased that this funding is now being allocated and will help clubs and venues to survive the difficult winter, as they also welcome crowds back for the first time this year."