Ospreys bosses have paid tribute to the Swans after they clinched promotion to the Premier League on Monday, saying that the feel good factor at the Liberty Stadium will have huge benefits for the whole region.
The Swans booked their place in the top flight next season with a 4-2 win over Reading at Wembley, watched by more than 40,000 Swans fans, and with the Liberty Stadium now officially home to both Wales’ leading rugby region and football club, Ospreys Chief Operations Officer, Andrew Hore, says that Swansea can now establish itself as a real city of sporting excellence.
Speaking after watching the Swans secure their return to the elite division after 28 years absence, Hore commented:
“It’s a fantastic achievement for Swansea City Football Club, one that everybody in South West Wales can take great pride in. I was honoured to be at Wembley on Monday to enjoy a special occasion and a historic day for the club, it’s players, staff, directors and supporters.
“The Liberty Stadium is a wonderful facility, and we can now justifiably say that it is home to Wales’ number one football club and rugby region. The opportunities this throws up are enormous, and we really have a chance to establish Swansea as a city of sporting excellence.
“There are plenty of great sports cities around the world with more than one elite team, and Swansea can be right up there. In addition to the Liberty Stadium we have facilities here like the Wales National Pool, and a forward thinking University with outstanding sporting facilities, and I look upon this as a fantastic opportunity. I think of sports mad places like Melbourne, where people take a real pride in sporting success and will turn up for the opening of an envelope almost, to get behind their sportsmen and women. There is a real opportunity now for Swansea to develop a similar reputation and we need to make sure we build on this together; the Ospreys, the Swans, and Swansea Stadium Management Company (SSMC), along with Swansea Council and the local business and sporting communities.”
With the Ospreys and the Swans joint partners at the Liberty Stadium, along with SSMC, Hore said that the football club’s promotion will open up new opportunities that will benefit all three organisations:
“It really is an exciting time for all three businesses. Clearly, with the Swans competing in a tournament that has international exposure, the Liberty Stadium will be seen right around the world and it will be known that the venue also hosts Wales’ leading rugby team, one that also operates on an international stage and has enjoyed success on a scale unrivalled in Wales since 2003.
“The commercial benefits, and knock-on’s, are potentially huge and we have to be geared up to take advantage of this. We certainly intend doing so. Some people have asked do we see it as a potential threat but I see only positives from where I’m sitting.
“The exposure that the stadium, and the region, will get is going to open up new opportunities that possibly wouldn’t have been available to us in the past and we need to ensure that we don’t waste those opportunities.”
Hore stressed that the Swans promotion to the Premier League will not cause any problems for the Ospreys on a day-to-day basis:
“As has always been the case since we moved to the Liberty Stadium in 2005, league regulations mean that the Swans will have priority in terms of fixture scheduling, but with less fixtures for them to fit in next season it means that the issues around fixtures schedules will be eased considerably.
“It’s a fantastic time to be in this part of the world, there is a huge feel good factor place at the moment. Walking into the stadium on Tuesday morning you could sense how much this means to everyone. The two teams are equal partners in the stadium and it’s important that we make the most of this as a business and really take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.”