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 10: Mega Events and Local Politics

Matthew J. Burbank, Greg Andranovich and Charles H. Heying


Matthew J. Burbank, Greg Andranovich and Charles H. Heying 1 INTRODUCTION The rise of sport as an instrument of urban development is undeniable as cities pursue consumption-oriented strategies to find or make their place in the global economy (Euchner, 1994; Kuper and Szymanski, 2009; Rosentraub, 2010; Soja, 2010). In large part a consequence of the economic restructuring whose pace quickened over the last three decades of the twentieth century, cities and nations sought to retain competitive positions as the importance of location initially seemed to be lessening under the rapid advance of telecommunications and transportation technologies. When the economic sectors that were gaining employment tipped in favor of services, however, economic development strategies focused on transforming downtown areas and creating new spaces to attract business investment and service-oriented jobs. Public policies focused on the importance of culture in consumption-oriented economic development and urban regeneration strategies have adopted entrepreneurial approaches (Harvey, 1989; Clarke and Gaile, 1998; Judd and Fainstein, 1999; Owen, 2002; Smith, 2007). Cities in the United States had the added constraint of reductions in federal support for urban programs that started in the late 1970s and hit cities especially hard during the 1980s (Caraley, 1992; Eisinger, 1998). These policy changes shifted the political terrain away from the politics of redistribution – fighting poverty and inequality – and toward the politics of becoming more competitive in the global economy. As cities have pursued this path of building an amenity-rich infrastructure through entrepreneurial policies, a number of thorny questions remain unanswered. Chief among...

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