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 23: Not-So-Mega Events

Dennis Coates


Dennis Coates 1 INTRODUCTION Enter ‘world championships’ into Google and you will get over 36 million results. On the first page of 10 links are the World Air Guitar Championships and the World Beard and Moustache Championships. The World Air Guitar Championship will occur for the 16th straight year in the summer of 2011. The event lasts four days with contestants from 20 countries. The 2011 event is in Oulu, Finland. Beard and Moustache competition fans have attended the event every other year since 1995. The event began, in its current organization, in Germany in 1990. The Italian beard competitors claim to have started the event in the 1970s. Since the 1990 event, host cities have included Carson City, Nevada, Anchorage, Alaska, and Berlin, Germany. The 2009 event, in Anchorage, saw the US team dominate, winning 12 of the 18 categories. Adding ‘sports’ to the Google search reduces the results to a mere 11 million. Near the top of this dramatically pruned list is the Lumberjack World Championships, held for 52 years in Hayward, Wisconsin. The event attracts competitors from at least five countries to go head to head in 20 events over three days. As many as 12,000 spectators attend the competition, in a county with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. The arena serves duty for Fred Sheer’s Lumberjack Shows five days a week throughout the summer when not in use for the World Championship event. John Deere and NorTrax, the farm and heavy equipment manufacturer and seller,...

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