We Love Major Sporting Events - except in Our Own Backyard; AREA AROUND THE RYDER CUP EXPRESSED MOST OPPOSITION

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN SHIPTON

IT is a term of criticism normally used to describe people who oppose worthy but unattractive developments close to their homes.

Yet a poll that found overwhelming support for staging major events like the Ryder Cup, showed that even multimillion-pound sporting showpieces like the transatlantic golf contest can attract their own nimby opponents.

A study carried out by Beaufort Research of Cardiff before the Ryder Cup earlier this month revealed that the area that showed the most opposition to staging major events like it in Wales was the South-East, where it was held.

Against a backdrop of a widely-approving Welsh public, the poll of 1,004 people showed that one-in-10 people in the Cardiff and South-East region were actively opposed to hosting such events in Wales.

Elsewhere there was negligible opposition: just 2% in Mid and West Wales, 1% in South-West Wales and statistically zero in North Wales and the Valleys.

And the majority of people who took part, 66%, thought it was great thatWales was able to host big events like the Ryder Cup.

The contest, which was won by the European side led by Colin Montgomerie after a nailbiting finish, took place over four days at the beginning of this month at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

Newport City Council leader Matthew Evans said the overwhelming levels of support showed what a benefit to the region it had been.

He said: "Full of drama, history and excitement, the Ryder Cup experience was positive for both those who enjoyed the event on-course and those who soaked up the atmosphere in and around the city.

"As a city we have benefited from worldwide recognition and have proved ourselves more than capable of hosting events of this scale. New infrastructure, such as the park and ride, worked extremely well and the disruption to residents, visitors and commuters was minimal.

"We are ensuring that we take full advantage of the opportunities the Ryder Cup has created and are looking to attract other high-profile events to the city.

"We do, however, appreciate that sporting events may not be of interest to everyone. Focussing on community involvement and building lasting legacies is very important and in Newport has been achieved through the Newport Festival. …