Ipswich: Traders hope for boost with Ipswich Town and Norwich City derby at Portman Road and Ipswich Cycling Weekend 2014
PUBLISHED: 12:27 20 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:27 20 August 2014
Traders are hoping for a late summer boost as excitement builds for two huge sporting weekends in Ipswich - attracting thousands of people to the town.
The Super Blues face Norwich City in a return of the East Anglian derby at Portman Road on Saturday. More than 24,000 fans are expected through the turnstiles for the lunchtime (12.15pm) kick-off.
That will be followed up by the Ipswich Cycling Weekend. Some of the world’s best cyclists return to the town’s streets for the Ipswich Coastal Grand Prix a week on Sunday, starting and ending at the town’s flagship Waterfront.
On the same day, family and friends of all ages and abilities are urged to take part in the Sky Ride, passing historic landmarks through traffic-free routes in the town.
On Saturday, starting at the Neptune Marina, the Crafted Classique challenge will take riders through Suffolk’s rolling countryside, including Thorpeness and Aldeburgh, before returning to the Waterfront.
Carole Jones, economic development portfolio-holder at Ipswich Borough Council, said the sporting events will build on the success and momentum gained from the recent Ipswich Maritime and Ip-art festivals.
She said: “These events bring many thousands of people in to our town and provide a big boost to businesses both in the town centre and on the Waterfront.
“The council continues to put on a wide range of events and to promote Ipswich but we will leave it to Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and the boys to provide us with three points this weekend.”
John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, urged businesses across the town to seize on the sporting spectacles.
He said: “Ipswich has a great deal to offer, and whether followers of football or cycling come for the day or stay over for the weekend, they will be welcome now and in the future.
“It has been some time since the East Anglian Derby and a full house at Portman Road is good news for the game and good news for the town as supporters visit shops, restaurants and pubs.”
Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said: “If key sporting events can add a feel-good factor, then they naturally help the local economy.
“However, this all pales into insignificance compared to the boost that Premier League football would bring to the town’s profile. That is the real goal for Ipswich.”
An Ipswich Town spokesman added: “The East Anglian derby is a match supporters from both clubs have been looking forward to since the fixtures came out. There will hopefully be a big crowd at Portman Road and a fantastic atmosphere.”
Turnstiles and stadium bars at Portman Road will open at 10.45am.
Inspector Matt Rose, of Suffolk Constabulary, said: “We hope that people enjoy the match sensibly and in the right spirit. We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, violence, racial chanting, mindless vandalism or any alcohol-fuelled disorder.”
See our Ipswich Cycling Weekend 2014 supplement in today’s paper.