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Edited by Wolfgang Maennig and Andrew Zimbalist
Chapter 10: Mega Events and Local Politics
10 Mega events and local politics 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...
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