Elgar original reference
Edited by Wolfgang Maennig and Andrew Zimbalist
Wolfgang Maennig and Andrew Zimbalist As globalization proceeds, the potential audience for sporting events grows, especially those events that project beyond local or national boundaries. The cumulative television viewership for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, for instance, is estimated to have reached 4.7 billion people, while that for the 64 matches played in the 2006 German World Cup is 26 billion.1 No one would question the cultural and social significance of such an event. Yet it is also estimated that China spent upwards of $40 billion in preparing for and hosting the 2008 Games. Few would question that such an event also has economic and environmental significance. It is also true that while no sporting event parallels the Olympic Games in its reach, there are a large and growing number of sporting events with audiences in the tens of millions. These events each have their own design, their own processes for selecting participants and host cities or countries and their own impact on social, economic and environmental conditions. In former decades, the scholarly analysis of mega sporting events such as the Olympic Games or the Soccer World Cup has been dominated by historians, educators, and philosophers. Today, scholarly analysis of mega sporting events has also turned to consider potential employment and income effects, psychic and marketing benefits, urban branding and transformation, corruptive elements in the bidding processes, among other subjects that are ripe for economic inquiry. Accordingly, there has been growing attention within governmental and academic circles that...