Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

One Day in - and Life Already Seems That Bit Better; Shearer Effect Boosts Spirits

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

One Day in - and Life Already Seems That Bit Better; Shearer Effect Boosts Spirits

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Pattinson

THE Alan Shearer effect has created a spending boom in the region. Already the financial benefits of his appointment have been felt in the leisure, travel and retail sectors.

Hotels in Tyneside saw booking rise by up to 8% within minutes of Newcastle United's beloved former striker being confirmed as the club's new manager.

Today bars across the city are standing-by for what landlords anticipate could be the busiest match day in years.

Numbers of flights in and out of the region are up and public transport operators are expecting a swell in usage as reinvigorated fans leave the car at home to celebrate the homecoming of the Magpies record goal-scorer.

While the total value remains the subject of speculation, leisure industry chiefs in the region have confirmed they expect to see a significant financial benefit to the local economy continue over the eight games Shearer will sit at the helm of the team.

With the ground at capacity, the atmosphere this afternoon is set to echo moments rarely seen since the number nine himself was unveiled as a player there. The club's box office received more than 5,000 extra ticket inquiries when the new manager was confirmed.

Magpie merchandise has also enjoyed a surge in sales with fans eager to show their support buying up shirts with 'that name' on the back again.

Reflecting on the wider financial effects of the appointment, Newcastle Gateshead Initiative's chief executive Andrew Dixon, said: "Alan has been a great ambassador for NewcastleGateshead both on and off the field.

"In terms of icons he is as big as the Angel of the North. The appointment will be a real boost for the profile of the city, nationally and internationally.

"Hundreds of visitors already flock from Europe and further to St James's Park to see Newcastle United, but we can expect this to increase as his name has global appeal." Hotels have been among the first to benefit. …

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