European passion for sport burns bright as gyms, stadiums, and technology thrive

European passion for sport burns bright as gyms, stadiums, and technology thrive. Image: Sergey Nivens /

Fans are racing back to gyms and stadiums over the past 12 months according to the Mastercard Sport Economy Index 2023.

The survey of over 11,000 Europeans reveals that more people attended live sporting events and regularly exercised in 2022 than they did in 2021, as sport remains a powerful heartbeat of society across the region.

The region’s enthusiasm for sport also translated into a significant increase in consumer spending across the sector. Analysis by the Mastercard Economics Institute shows that consumer card spending on sporting goods, services and experiences was up 37 per cent in 2022 compared to 2021.

Over the past 12 months, the digital footprint of sport continued to rise, with more than six in ten (61 per cent) Europeans stating that technology was a major lifeline in how they enjoyed their favourite events.

The top five ways in which Europeans used technology to enjoy sport in 2022 were: to follow events remotely on social media, watch multiple matches at once, experience a sporting event via VR, watch esports competitions via streaming platforms, and listen to sporting podcasts.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]