WEG Ticket Sales 411,000

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Kentucky Horse Park Main Stadium, the centerpiece of WEG competition. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kentucky Horse Park Main Stadium, the centerpiece of WEG competition. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Oct. 21–A total of 411,000 tickets were sold for the 16-day Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, based on preliminary figures released Thursday by the World Games 2010 Foundation.

Tickets were sold in 63 countries and all 50 U.S. states. Preliminary estimates show about 70 percent of sales came from outside Kentucky where the WEG was held for the first time outside Europe since the once-every-four-year combined championships of international horse sports was first held 20 years ago.

Top countries represented in sales were Canada, Switzerland, Australia, England, Mexico, Germany, South Africa, France, New Zealand, and the Netherlands with the top states being Kentucky, California, Ohio, Illinois, and Florida.

WEG organizers initially provided only a total attendance figure of 507,022 that included volunteers, media, staff, teams and children under the age of 12 who did not require a ticket, a calculation it said was consistent with other major sporting events around the world.

“The demographic of spectators attending the Games literally spanned the globe,” said World Games 2010 Foundation Chief Executive Officer Jamie Link.

“In the face of an incredibly challenging global economic climate, we are very pleased to have sold more than 411,000 tickets, and to have exceeded an overall attendance of one half million. The Commonwealth of Kentucky and the City of Lexington can be proud of the success of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and our achievements in showcasing equestrian sport and the Kentucky Horse Park to audiences around the world.”

WEG reported 632 athletes and 752 horses from 58 countries participated in dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining, vaulting and para-dressage.

Approximately 600,000 tickets were available for purchase to the Games from Sept. 25 to Oct. 10.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that its analysis showed $107 million (€76.6 million) in state, local and federal tax dollars spent on improvements at the Kentucky Horse Park and other infrastructure projects and another $151 million (€108 million) for projects already planned but expedited for WEG. The Horse Park say the improvements that included completely new indoor and outdoor arenas have led to a big increase in commitments for use of the facility that should recoup the costs.

At least another $80 million (€57.3 million) was spent by the WEG organization, much of it by title sponsor Alltech.

The previous WEG in Aachen, Germany, in 2006 reported 570,000 spectators and the combined capital and organizing budget was €39.3 million that at the time was the equivalent of about US$50 million.