Public Policy and Professional Sports
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Public Policy and Professional Sports

International and Australian Experiences

John K. Wilson and Richard Pomfret

Public Policy and Professional Sports​is a comprehensive analysis of public policy aspects of the economics of professional sports, supported by in-depth international case studies. It covers regulation and competition in the sports industry and its labour markets, public spending on stadiums and mega-events, and governance issues including unethical behaviour (corruption, doping, etc). The innovative feature of the work is the combination of economic analysis and well-known international examples with detailed case studies​ of public policy as it relates to sport in Australia. Australia​is an excellent case study due to the high profile of sport in the national psyche and the range of popular professional sports.
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Chapter 5: Economic benefits of mega-events

John K. Wilson and Richard Pomfret


The Olympics, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup and similar events generate great interest among fans. They are distinct from the professional sports leagues analysed in Chapter 2, because the leagues last for a season of several months long, while a mega-event is typically a one-off. The Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup and similar events in rugby union or cricket last for a few weeks and only take place every four years (see the annex to this chapter for dates and locations). Other mega-events, such as the Tour de France cycle race, may be annual, and even be part of a year-long series; Formula One (F1) car racing has a multi-event season which determines the world champion, but each Grand Prix is treated as a separate mega-event. In tennis and golf, individual Grand Slam or majors are even more clearly distinctive events. The finals of major sports leagues, such as the National Football League (NFL) Super Bowl, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League final or the AFL Grand Final, may also be considered to be mega-events. From the above list it is clear that there is no simple agreed definition of a mega-event (Maennig and Zimbalist, 2012, 9–14).

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