Skip to content Skip to footer

Presented the economic impact of the Fencing World Cup by the Bocconi University Green Research Centre

The Fencing World Championships Milan 2023
represent a major sporting and promotional event for the city of Milan and the entire country and are capable of generating important benefits for various stakeholders

At the headquarters of the Lombardy Region, in the evocative location of the 39th Belvedere Floor of Palazzo Lombardia, the presentation of the study ‘The Economic Impact of the World Fencing Championships Milan 2023’ was held, carried out by the GREEN Research Centre – Bocconi University, with the support of the Romeo and Enrica Invernizzi Foundation. An important step towards the great event scheduled to take place in Milan from 22 to 30 July 2023 at the futuristic Allianz MiCo Fiera Milano Congressi, in an area of over 25 thousand square metres.

Many institutions were present at the press conference: starting from Andrea Abodi, Minister for Sport and Youths, to the President of the Lombardy Region Attilio Fontana, from CONI President Giovanni Malagò, to Marco Fichera, President of the Milan 2023 Organising Committee, from Antonio Rossi, Undersecretary with responsibility for Sport, Major Sporting Events and the 2026 Olympics, to Martina Riva, Councillor for Sport, Tourism and Youth Policies of the Municipality of Milan, to Paolo Azzi, President of the Italian Fencing Federation and, finally, Marco Percoco, Director of GREEN – Centre for Geography, Resources, Environment, Energy and Networks at Bocconi University.

This will be the eighth World Fencing Championships to be organised in Italy, from the first time in Naples in 1929 to the last in Catania in 2011 and, for the first time, it will be hosted in Milan. Milan 2023 will be the Olympic Qualification World Championship, with double points in the race for passes to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. A detail, the latter, that accentuates the anticipation for Italian fencing, fresh from the eight medals won at the last world championships in Cairo.
The aim of the study, carried out by the GREEN Research Centre – Bocconi University, with the support of the Romeo and Enrica Invernizzi Foundation and presented by Marco Percoco, Director of GREEN – Centre for Geography, Resources, Environment, Energy and Networks at Bocconi University, was to estimate the economic impact of the Milan 2023 Fencing World Championships.

The concept of impact is very broad and refers to a plurality of aspects traceable to quantitative and qualitative dimensions. The impacts generated by sports events, in fact, can be economic, social and environmental. The estimate of the local economic impact of Milan 2023 was defined by analysing the operational costs for the organisation and the expenditure of the visitors and Federations involved. These two items of expenditure amount to a total of approximately EUR 11 million and contribute to generating more than EUR 24 million in additional production and 201 jobs. Prof. Percoco pointed out that ‘Sports and cultural events often have positive effects on local economies, and this result is not surprising for an area like Milan. The real challenge will be to integrate the World Cup into a broader path of urban development, so as to make these impacts permanent’.

Moreover, as the research points out, major events represent an opportunity for territorial development and an extraordinary moment of promotion, generating value and assets for various stakeholders: from the city to the national territory to the citizens themselves. The side events and projects already inaugurated linked to Milan 2023 can generate long-term social impacts such as to potentially constitute a positive legacy.
On this occasion, the partnership with Metro 5 S.p.A, Official Subway of the 2023 Fencing World Cup, was also presented in the presence of CEO Serafino Lo Piano.

The 2023 World Championships will be a key showcase to showcase fencing to the younger generations, both passionate about it and from outside it, and at the same time to maintain one of Italy’s historical traditions.


‘This study,’ said Andrea Abodi, Minister for Sport and Youths, ‘is proof that a major sporting event is no longer just an event. On this occasion, the Italian Fencing Federation and the Milan 2023 Organising Committee prove this, and with their stubbornness and competence they will guarantee an event of great impact. Italian Fencing has accustomed us to great successes and I am sure that it will be able to confirm itself organisationally and sportingly also in this rainbow event. The appeal of this Italian World Championships is consolidated in the promotional project dedicated to schools, universities, and oratories, with such a socially relevant action, which is even more important in a region that is also looking ahead to the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Against the public contribution that we will make available to the Organising Committee, I also like to think of its social return. I am convinced that the added value that this great event will create will be even more significant than that, which is really significant, calculated by the study presented this morning. The beauty begins afterwards, when on the one hand we do ‘the counting’ and on the other hand we reap what we have sown: a positive legacy that will not only be financial, but above all social”.

“Major sporting events are a driving force for the promotion and development of the territories that host them, and they support and enhance Lombardy’s natural vocation for hospitality and sustainable tourism. The virtuous combination of sport and tourism is a crucial element for the growth of our region, and events such as this one go precisely in this direction, paving the way also towards the great appointment of the 2026 Winter Olympics,’ said Attilio Fontana, President of the Lombardy Region. ‘Milan and Lombardy have a long fencing tradition. A tradition that is renewed every day in the affiliated sports clubs and in the members of our region in the wake of a past that includes many champions, first and foremost the unreachable Edoardo Mangiarotti, to the many young promises that make us proud in every competition”.

“We are here, in the home of all the people of Lombardy, to tell the story of a different event as we had dreamed and imagined it for a long time. Milan 2023 is an event, not only for fencing, but also for the country, for Lombardy and for the city of Milan. We strongly feel the support of all the institutions, led by the Government and the Sports Department, which are supporting us in this beautiful journey. The impact study by Bocconi University is the plastic representation of how, through targeted and virtuous investments, we can organise a World Cup that will not only represent medals, but also great opportunities for the territory and the country system,’ said Marco Fichera, President of the Milan 2023 Organising Committee.

“The economic impact study is important and we should also consider aspects that are difficult to quantify, which add value. When we applied it was not a foregone conclusion that we would win, Italy got the award thanks to excellent teamwork, coordinated by Paolo Azzi, Giorgio Scarso and Marco Fichera. Italian fencing is the safe of Italian sport, it has won 130 Olympic medals, on its side it had the pull of its history and the strength of Milan, a city with five circles and synonymous with credibility. The pre-Olympic World Championships has a different importance and fascination from the others and I am sure it will offer spectacle, excitement and the opportunity to build a successful path towards the Paris 2024 Games,’ said CONI President Giovanni Malagò.

‘A major sporting event such as the World Fencing Championships, which for the first time will be held in Milan, once again makes me think of the great work that the Lombardy Region has been doing for years in support of sport. Investing in sport is also and above all an investment in the health of citizens, and major events like this one have a not inconsiderable economic impact on the local economy. – commented Antonio Rossi, Undersecretary with responsibility for Sport, Major Sporting Events and the 2026 Olympics. “We have seen how these events produce various positive social impacts and contribute to creating a positive long-term legacy. Together with President Fontana, we will continue to support sport in all its forms for a Lombardy that is increasingly at the centre of the Italian and world sporting world.”

“Major events, starting with international sports competitions, are a powerful driving force and a strategic accelerator of economic and social transformations for the city and the territory that host them,” commented the Councillor for Sport, Tourism and Youth Policies of the Municipality of Milan Martina Riva. The Fencing World Championships that we have the honour of hosting at the Allianz MiCo next July has all the characteristics to leave a mark on the socio-economic fabric of our city. Quality, experience, competition, professionalism, international resonance, attractiveness, planning, training and sports culture are values that we will see on the piste and that we will find in the city translated into numbers on the employment and production front, as the research presented today explains. For this reason, in the run-up to the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Milan 2023 is certainly a fundamental milestone and a challenging test bed’.

The President of the Italian Fencing Federation, Paolo Azzi, said: ‘Such a high-profile study is a precious element that testifies to the value that the World Championship has on the city of Milan that will host it and on our country as a whole. The Italian World Championship is an event that goes far beyond the sporting significance, which in itself is extraordinarily important since it is an Olympic Qualification edition. The FIS is committed, alongside the Committee, in this great organisational challenge also to contribute to the binomial sport-tourism, enhancing the virtuous exchange between our sport and the territories that host it, concepts already at the centre, just a week ago, of our presence at the BIT. Today, then, we are also happy to announce the launch of a communication project, put in place ad hoc, called ‘Our World Journey – Milan and Terni, the 2023 rainbow of Italian fencing,’ promoted by Federscherma and the Sports Department of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. This initiative, edited by Stefano Pantano, will be online from mid-March on the official channels of our Federation and the Sports Department, offering an account of some of the protagonists of the two ‘Italian’ World Championships for Olympic and Paralympic athletes. It is a way to make icons and emerging faces of our sport better known, enhancing through their stories the integration between the Olympic and Paralympic sectors, of which the FIS has made one of its flags”.

“Where there is sport there is Europe: the European Commission in Milan welcomes this splendid initiative and reaffirms the importance of sport for psychophysical well-being, quality of life and social inclusion,” said Massimo Gaudina, Head of the European Commission Representation in Milan.

“For the first time, Lille becomes the official metro of a world sports event, the ‘Fencing Championships’. Line 5 will accompany visitors to the heart of the event, thanks to the Allianz MiCo Fiera Milano Congressi metro station (Portello), and both on the train and in the station it will be possible to experience the World Championships, thanks to the experiential communication initiatives that we will implement to celebrate the fencing fans. By guaranteeing accessibility and sustainable transport, we are linking up with all the sporting events in the city of Milan and reconfirming ourselves as the ‘metro of sport’,’ says Serafino Lo Piano, CEO of Metro 5.