Edited by Wolfgang Maennig and Andrew Zimbalist
Chapter 20: Economic Impact of Organizing Large Sporting Events
Elmer Sterken 1 INTRODUCTION The economic impact of organizing large sporting events is a topic that attracts lively attention (see, for instance, Preuss, 2006, for an overview). Governments (both federal and local), sports federations (National Olympic Committees, international federations such as the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and FIFA), potential organizers and consultants debate about the total economic value added of such large events. In general, one could consider any sporting event and debate its possible (local) welfare gain, but the scale of the event is relevant to the impact issue if one considers national development. Individual surveys and/or cost–benefit analyses possibly could indicate the welfare improvement and the subjective increase in social returns these major sporting events bring, but do not adhere to the main issue: is it ex ante beneficial for a national government to apply for the organization of mega sporting events? In this study we measure the total economic value added of so-called ‘sporadic events’ (these are regular but not annually organized events, see Barget and Gouguet, 2007) at the macroeconomic level: that is, we are interested in additional growth of (per capita) gross domestic product (GDP). These major sporting events include multiple sports (such as the Olympic Games) or single sports events (World Cup Soccer). The required scale implies that we need to consider sporting events of a certain minimum size. Barget (2001) defines a large sporting event nowadays to be an event with at least 1 billion viewers...
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