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Past events

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015

On 20 December 2015 Belfast hosted the iconic BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

This BBC event was staged in partnership with us and Tourism NI and was the first time that the city had hosted the event, which first went on the road in 2006. 

The awards reflected a packed year of sport which includes the Rugby World Cup, the World Athletics Championships and the Women's Football World Cup. 

We also teamed up with the BBC Get Inspired Active Academy and organised a series of sports events across the city to mark the staging of BBC Sports Personality of the Year in Belfast.

Tall Ships 2015

From 2 to 5 July 2015 Belfast hosted The Tall Ships Races 2015 welcomed by the Lidl Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival event.

Belfast previously hosted The Tall Ships Races in 1991 and 2009.

The 2015 event was spread across a one mile square site. Access to the festival was free and highlights included a hot air balloon display and spectacular fireworks on 4 July.

It finished with a Parade of Tall Ships from Belfast to Whitehead on 5 July preceded by a Red Arrows fly past and full display in Carrickfergus.

The Tall Ships Races started on Monday 6 July just off the Portrush coast.

Here are some of the key outputs from 2015:

  • 46 visiting vessels including 16 Class A ships
  • over 800 international crew from 17 countries
  • 520,000 attendees across the four days and another 130,000 watching the Tall Ships Parade from the shorelines
  • an estimated £17 million for the local economy
    over £200,000 of private sector sponsorship and £500,000 of grant support
  • 96 local sail trainees taking part in the race from Belfast to Norway
  • 536 volunteers recruited in partnership Volunteer Now
  • a record-breaking 32,000 visitors on board Brazilian vessel, Cisne Branco
    reach and spread of 100 million through social media
  • a 91.4% positive perception rating (up 6.45 from 2009)
  • a 91% advertising recall rate
  • approximately £5 million of press coverage
  • over 99% positive sentiment on social media
  • 98% positive coverage in media (remaining 2% was neutral)
  • 95% recycle rate

Belfast City Council was the lead partner, working with Belfast Harbour who hosted the event with financial contribution from DSDNI and Tourism NI and the host port sponsor, Lidl NI. Other key partners included Visit Belfast, BBC NI, Odyssey Trust, Titanic Quarter, Translink, Phoenix Natural Gas, Stena Line and Belfast City Centre Management.

Other Belfast events

Since 1999 we've successfully bid for, secured and delivered a range of major international events for the city (working with various government departments). These events include:

  • IAAF World Cross Country Championships (1999)
  • AIBA World Amateur Boxing Championships (2001)
  • UEFA Under 19 European Football Championship (2005)
  • Under 19 Rugby World Cup (2007)
  • MTV EMAs (2011)
  • World Police and Fire Games (2013)
  • Giro d’Italia (2014)
  • numerous European and National Pipe Band Championships
  • various national and international competitions connected to the World Irish Dancing Commission