International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events
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International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events

Edited by Wolfgang Maennig and Andrew Zimbalist

From the Olympics to the World Cup, mega sporting events are a source of enjoyment for tens of thousands of people, but can also be a source of intense debate and controversy. This insightful Handbook addresses a number of central questions, including: How are host cities selected and under what economic conditions? How are these events organized, and how is local resistance overcome? Based on historical and empirical experience, what are the pitfalls for the organizers of these events? What are the potential economic benefits, including any international image effects? How can the costs be minimized and the benefits maximized for host cities and countries? How do these mega events impact the challenges of globalization and what is their environmental legacy?
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Chapter 5: Determinants of Successful Bidding for Mega Events: The Case of the Olympic Winter Games

Arne Feddersen and Wolfgang Maennig


Arne Feddersen and Wolfgang Maennig 1 INTRODUCTION For cities, a successful bid is still in reach, but a thorough commitment to the important relationships and politics within the Olympic Movement is necessary. Timing and prevailing politics will be most important to a successful bid, not the city’s strengths or merits. (Hahn, 2010) For some – or even many – observers, the citation might hit the bull’s eye. From the point of view of sports, the statement is a clue to its values and principles. Decisions for Olympic host cities should be taken in order to ensure the best and fairest conditions for the competing athletes, to strengthen the diffusion of Olympic values, and to ensure a sustainable worldwide promotion of (Olympic) sports, to name some of the most important targets. If Hahn were correct, the ‘hard factors’ for example, sporting facilities and infrastructure, political stability, financing, climate, public support, all extensively described in the bid books and evaluated by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Commission, would be of reduced importance. The process of deciding who will host the Olympic Games has so far attracted relatively little attention in economic analyses. Schauenberg (1992) analyzes the voting procedure for the 1996 Olympic Games and reveals some ‘irrationalities’. Swart and Bob (2004) identify factors such as accountability, political support, relationship marketing, ability, infrastructure, bid team composition, communication and exposure, and existing facilities as decisive for a successful bid. However, these determinants are not submitted to any empirical test. Westerbeek et al. (2002), after asking 135...

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