Leveraging of the Olympic Games on Mega-Sporting Events: A Strategic Framework for the Development o...

Mohammadhadi Tavakkoli

American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine

Leveraging of the Olympic Games on Mega-Sporting Events: A Strategic Framework for the Development of Sport

Mohammadhadi Tavakkoli

University of Azad, Iran

Abstract

Mega-sporting events can be described by their leveraging and intricacy in management and delivery. This article reviews the literature on the characteristics of such events and, drawing specific models from almost recent Olympic Games, it identifies the character and dimension of their leveraging on the host country and society. The paper finalizes that while the perspective of economic development is the driving power behind bids for hosting the Olympic Games, the heritages that pursuit their hosting are hard to measure, prone to political explanation and multifaceted. The mega-sporting events are in essence, only the catalyst for the efforts.

Cite this article:

  • Mohammadhadi Tavakkoli. Leveraging of the Olympic Games on Mega-Sporting Events: A Strategic Framework for the Development of Sport. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2016, pp 44-56. http://pubs.sciepub.com/ajssm/4/2/4
  • Tavakkoli, Mohammadhadi. "Leveraging of the Olympic Games on Mega-Sporting Events: A Strategic Framework for the Development of Sport." American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 4.2 (2016): 44-56.
  • Tavakkoli, M. (2016). Leveraging of the Olympic Games on Mega-Sporting Events: A Strategic Framework for the Development of Sport. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 4(2), 44-56.
  • Tavakkoli, Mohammadhadi. "Leveraging of the Olympic Games on Mega-Sporting Events: A Strategic Framework for the Development of Sport." American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 4, no. 2 (2016): 44-56.

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At a glance: Figures

1. Introduction

The Olympic Games have grown in mass popular appeal and one of the most essential mega-international sporting events [54]. The enhancing group of cities, assisting to host the Olympics and the growing funds invested in Olympic bids specify that native leaders realize the securing of such an event as a chance to boost economic and social facets of a city or region through the aggregated investment, considerable resources to secure the right to host the Games [62]. As a result, in the period of the past two decades, there has been enhanced interest on the leveraging of the Olympics on the economic, cultural, physical and political activity of the places bidding to host an event [30]. The Olympic Games are hence examined in connection with other mega-sporting events, such as the Football World Cup, the Cricket World Cup, the World Championships in Athletics, the World Wrestling Championships, which can provide guiding principles for the delivery of future mega-events as well as the development of the Olympic Park in legacy [25], but also in connection with commercial and cultural events, such as festivals or exhibitions, whereas it has been desired that regardless of group identity [44], events such as the aforesaid produce similar streams for the host cities or sections. Here, after all, it is suggested that an analysis of the nature of the contemporary Olympic Games should not behave them as merely a permanent mega-sporting event, since they obtain a number of distinctive specifications.

These special specifications are mainly derived from the truth that the Games are revealed and upgraded as the prime statement of the doctrine of Olympism, and are also organized within a rigid institutional structure set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Experts in the host environment such as town planning supervisions, engineers and architects normally become significant players of the Olympic Games specialist, since the arranging of the event usually needs large-scale structure projects in both sports equipments and reinforcing the infrastructure such as housing equipments, road constructions, rebuilding of the host city constructions and landmarks and the related. In regard to the above, this article plans to demonstrate the sphere of the impacts of the modern Olympic Games in the host cities and countries from a mega-sporting event proportion. Because of this, the reader obtains a integrate picture of the key operators involved in the provision in the event and their diverse interests and characters within the Olympic organization system. The Olympics have an ability to capture the imagination and support of the general public and politicians alike, which can channel energy and finance into the project and ‘fast-track’ investment and planning to meet the Olympic deadline [39]. The article is formed in two parts. The first examines the systematic specifications of the Olympic Games and reveals their unique organizational characteristics and conclusions for planners and coordinators. The second perspectives the dimension of the modern Olympic Games within the attitude of mega-sporting events by seriously assessing their impact as a tool of urban regeneration on the host cities and countries.

2. Olympism, the Olympic Motion and the Advanced Olympic Games

The establishment of the advanced Olympic Games was recognized in 1896 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, an insightful educator who claimed that international sport could foster a particular and collaborative tendency and even conduce to world peace [95]. The advanced Games, hence, were recreated as a statement of an ethics and wisdom, that Coubertin called Olympism. It has been declared that Olympism flourished from Coubertin’s main goal of revitalizing the youth of France via a global ethics that could encompass sport for all males [4]. The Olympic Charter explains Olympism as a ‘wisdom of life, uplifting and combining in an equilibrated whole the qualities of body, will and the notion’ [59], which, by combining sport with culture and education, attempts to create a way of life rely on the joy found in the endeavor, the educational worth of good example and regard for universal essential ethical doctrines. Accordingly, the aim of Olympism is to ‘location everywhere sport at the duty of the symmetrical development of man, with a view to supporting the establishment of a peaceful community concerned with the maintenance of human dignity’ (IOC Olympic Charter, 2010, Fundamental Principle 2; p.9).

The Olympic motion consists of the International Olympic Committee, the Government bodies, the National Olympic Committees, the International Federations and all the associations, clubs and individuals consisting of them. The International Olympic Committee is the main power of the Olympic movement, including 127 members drawn from almost broad types of countries. Members are determined by the IOC solely, and more particularly by board members or President [68]. This committee also keeps the power to choose the city to point the Olympics. There is no query that modern societies place a high premium on the perfections of Olympism. Nevertheless, the establishment of the Olympic Games, which is the most outstanding, moreover, the Olympics have been professionalized and reinforced in the ‘ceremonials’, expression of Olympism, has also acquired significant assessment, exclusively throughout the past couple of years [45]. The emphasis of the assessment has been the Olympic activity—that is, the international sport solidarity which has taken from Olympism, and specifically the International Olympic Committee, which has optimum control of it. Patterns of such assessment include disclosures about corruption in the upper classifications of the activity, doping and the significant commercialization and commodification of the athletes and the events [66].

The organization of the Olympic Games is integrated and sustainable system which has as its central fundamental the Organizing Committee. In contemporary years the Olympic Games have become an economically remarkable event, essentially as a result of the growing financial investment of sports and political interest. Since Atlanta, the profitable trading and investment in the Olympic Games has enhanced dramatically [78]. For instance, the television rights revenues for the London 2012 Games US$ 2.8 billion [85], although for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games the television rights holders are because of the pay a predicted overall for the USA$ 1.4 billion [41]. In regard of this economic success and in expectation of its prolongation, the International Olympic Committee reinforced a substantial growth of the size of the Olympic Games. Table 1 shows after 1996 most of the Summer Olympic Competitions have been held in the host cities were more extensive than the previous one, by reason of numbers of matches and the sport participating athletes.

Table 1. The Development of the Summer Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee’s main exertion of ability, however, integrity is depending on its economic control over the Games. It has been considered that this command was constricted significantly after the organizing board for the 1996 Atlanta’s games strongly indicated how the Games could be organized to magnify income from television rights, sponsorship and marketing, and make a financial surplus over costs [143]. The IOC now specifies in detail the nature of the event on reflection of its financing and contributes nearly 65% to an organizing committee’s budget. The asset coming into the Olympic activity often reaches exceptional amounts, mainly if we presume that the television rights contracts alone for each Game usually surpass $1 billion [127].

3. Describing Mega-Events

The early step in describing mega-sporting events is to consider them within the area of other non-mega events like most of the relevant research and analysis integrates events of different types (e.g. economic, cultural). Thus, the key issue to be addressed is the recognition of the criteria by which mega-events in general should be defined. In other words, the central question is: ‘How are mega-events recognizable from other events?’ A mega-event can be observed in two main aspects: first, with respect to its specific characteristics—that is, primarily its period and its size (i.e. number of participants and spectators, number of individual meetings, and levels of organizational difficulty); and second, in connection with its external characteristics, which mostly take detail of its media and tourism fascinating, and its effect on the host city [96]; The resultant wide-ranging discussion of role models, fallen heroes, celebrity, and nude calendars is undeniably relevant to the place of the Olympics in contemporary society [88]. For instance, in Australia in 1998, events with confined period and media fascinating made a larger economic allotment than other longer-lasting events with larger television audiences. Thus, mega events are usually discovered as having an impact on local tourism and economy—for athletes the biggest stage of all is the medal podium, this is where ceremony shines a spotlight on performance [1].

Expenses on equipment and infrastructure development, also revenue from visitor spending considerable time in the host area, tickets and media coverage, prestige, form the guideline of the volume of mega-event assess. However, in light of even further, it has also become obvious that mega-events can be evaluated as tools of government policy or statements of political ideologies, is about creating a positive image of the city and attracting tourists and more investment [102]. In addition, mega-events can be determined in terms of their role in the method of capital aggregation through corporate supports and media audiences [120]. Mega-events have also earned attention in relation to the urban growths involved, such as the modeling of landmark structures and the revival of urban space [139], with specific examples being the broad waterfront development in Athens for the 2004 Olympics, and the refurbishment of the east village in Stratford, east London for the 2012 Olympics [136]. Evidently, hence, authors’ endeavors to specify the criteria for explaining a mega-event reflect the spheres of their interests, which, it is said above; mostly focus on their external specifications and impact. Major attention has been paid to the altercation that the length of media coverage and exclusively television coverage, and the associated attraction of sponsorship decide whether an event may be clarified as a mega-event or not [105].

Meanwhile the rates of media attractiveness have been the axis of many mega-events analyses, [8] appropriate cases declare that this criterion alone cannot reveal the position of a mega-event. Sheffield 1991 World University Games (Universiade) for instance, had Local press Regional news programmes insignificant media interest and low connected sponsorship, therefore creating an utmost debt for the organizers [38]. After all, this event had a significant economic impact on the city of Sheffield and was also the starting-point of a continuous regeneration of the city, which has regularly created a high-facet sporting image within the UK [47]. Similarly, the 1994 Brisbane World Masters Games which cost Brisbane A$2.8 million to put on but generated a massive A$50.6 million of additional economic activity made a bigger economic contribution [48] than other more prestigious events for instance the Formula One Grand Prix $420 million or the Australian Tennis Open $366 million, [65] while having the lowest estimated television audience 290 million, 480 million and 570 million respectively.

However, the media-related prospect of events is rarely overlooked when authors’ intent to classify an event, the focus is certainly placed upon the consequences of an event on the host city, area or even country [35]. The criteria, [121] for deciding a mega-event should be attempt in the effects, essentially in terms of economic ones; the event has on the cities that point them. In more feature, [33] indicated that mega-events need to have an extraordinary impact on the host area in terms of one or more of the following: tourist volumes; visitor expenditures; publicity leading to a heightened awareness and a more positive image; and related infrastructural and organizational developments that substantially increase the destination’s capacity and attractiveness.

Furthermore, it is accepted within the related literature that cities’ influences behind the resolution to stage a large-scale event are its possible positive outcomes [87], and primarily its allotment to economic progress and urban regeneration—the Olympics will be the regeneration of a whole community for the straight benefit of everyone who lives there [86]. Dunn & McGuirk [36] propose that the hosting of mega and large-scale events has turn into global necessity of competition between nations, zones and even particular cities, which attempt to absorb international investment. Particularly, they propose that ‘location-competition’ and ‘location-marketing’ are the results of universal contest and capital activity in the modern borderless world [56]. In this regard, the internationalization of capital can help create a symbolic focus of commonality as a shape of ‘place marketing’ for internal investment [138]. Obviously, cities and regions are presently becoming progressively interested with encouraging long-term local economic improvement within their own boundaries [23], during the last two decades, which requires various models of reorganizing of the city, area or even country, such as physical reorganizing that boosts the repackaging and sustainable ideas of the location’s character [97]. Relating to the community acceptance for positive long-term social benefits, the transport portion of what he address ‘hallmark events’, such as the Olympics, to planning for urban regeneration is firmly associated with ‘post-Fordism’ and with the appropriate transitions from industrial to post-industrial society and from modernity to post-modernity [46, 80]. Furthermore, mega-events as one of the main outcome of post modern society and a pivot method by which cities declare their identity, boost their dignity and advertise their position on the global phase [53]. The baseline, hence, is that both globalization and the economic restructuring of cities have been strong factors in improving the attractiveness of mega-events as catalysts to urban economic development [61, 82, 103]. It has been declared, for example, that the economic downfall of old manufacturing cities such as Manchester and Berlin in a post-Fordist domain caused to the conceptualization of its 2000 Olympic bid as a gadget of urban modification in what was billed as the ‘modification Games’ [22, 52].

Table 2. Olympic Family Attendances in the Recent Summer Olympics

Mega-sporting events comprises specialist world-rank international sports competitions e.g. the world cup competitions in soccer, world cup cricket, grand slam tennis tournaments such as Wimbledon and US open, Tour De France for annual multiple stage bicycle race and New York City marathon that is the largest marathon in the world [94]. Such mega-sporting events prepare great chances for areas and cities to present universally contest to renew contribution in host cities by projecting a positive image of the city, moreover, stadiums are being developed in host cities as well [49]. Through the activities of place-competition and the reconstitute they boost, regions and cities can advantage in the long term in changing the positions, powers and scales of operation of the event [60]. Until stage the Olympics, for instance, remarkable investment is necessary in both sporting facilities and supporting substructure, e.g. accommodation for the Olympic family members as well as tourists, transportation, telecommunications etc. (Table 2).

In the same skeleton, mega-sporting events the size of the summer and winter Olympic Games or the South America Soccer Championship may boost commercial activity as an outcome of the occupations growth by the enormous crowd of travelers looking around the venue before and after a mega-event [16]. The making of sports facilities can also illustrate in programmes of urban renewal by, for instance, presenting modern sporting and amusement equipments into formerly under-given areas [6, 20]. On a wider scale, preparations for the event can also render a means of justifying new investment in convey infrastructure and in projects to boost the city’s landscape and physical performance [110]. Even ineffective bids for the Olympic Games can bring advantages, one model being; via the urban plans and modifications proposed until strengthen the city’s Olympic bid [50]. In actuality, cities’ motives for willing to stage mega-sporting events are mostly derived from the motive to advance local economic development and urban regeneration [114, 116]. The perception that mega-sporting events can be handled in such a way was foremost understood with the 1996 Atlanta’s Summer Olympic Games. Specifically Olympics had a confined allotment to the particular area boost; however, their remarkable commercial success, which emerged from expanded television revenue and corporate sponsorship, and the posterior surplus of US$ 233 million produced by the organizers [63], exposed that the organizing of recreational activities the model of the Olympics can become a beneficial deal for organizers.

The extreme relevant mega-sporting event in respect of economic and urban development to re-engineer the image of a city has since been the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. These Olympics had a considerable effect on the local economy, and their preparations provoked public investment of US$ 12 billion for redeveloping the city of Beijing’s economic development [17], thus, the hosting of mega-sporting events with the various advantages that it can stimulate, normally requires different interests ranging from governmental plans for urban development to profit-oriented plans of the private sector. As an outcome, organizers, mostly have to deal with diverse and frequently conflicting interests, which mean that they have to accomplish a highly complex task. So that complete the meaning of a mega-sporting event, one necessitates to add to the level of its effects, its internal elements which involve the scale or period as well as its structural complexity and the attachment of diverse existences such as governments, private corporations and public groups.

4. The Effects of Mega-Sporting Events

The effects of mega-sporting events on the host city or area can be enormous and multifold, and a main portion of the related literature assists the idea that such events can primarily produce positive consequences. Whether mega-sporting events do truly generate such net effects, though, has been under discussion by several authors. In the continuous parts, the effects of mega-sporting events are debated in replacement with remarkable focus on the related inconsistent arguments.

4.1. Socio-Economic Effects

It can be argued that the majority of important proof behind the selection of a city, area or country to host a mega-sporting event is the probable positive effect of the event on the urban economy, which in turn able to enhance the social level of the host community. The economic effect of an event can be specified as the ‘net economic shift in the host community that yielding a more balanced evaluation from spending attributed to the event’ [135]. Apparently it is essential to understand that the direct income of a mega-sporting event—in other words, from origins, including ticket sales, marketing rights, television rights and sport sponsorship agreements—does not certainly contribute to the economic growth of the host city, since specific income usually covers the costs for systematize the event independently [81]. The economic improvement of mega-sporting events is essentially contemplating on in terms of the probabilities they provide of increasing the awareness of the city or the district as a tourism destination and the knowledge regarding the potential for investment and commercial business in the area. Thus, they can absorb more investment and spectators, accordingly create new jobs, sporting achievements enhance the nation’s prestige, physical well being and moral vigor of the people and contribute to the economic development of the city or district [32]. On this basis, the volume of the literature involved with estimating the socio-economic advantages associated with developing country mega-cities point out the factors of the event- linked job development, growth theory, urbanization occupies on the unemployment rates of the host area [7], the effects of the witnessing viewers and the media-linked advertisement on the tourism industry due to an increase in foreign tourist arrivals in the host city, region or nation in which mega-events occur [55] further, the effects of the event on the social models of the host community, it also cannot be disputed that when providing a sport tourism experience [108].

The latter essentially emphasis the event-related effects on the economic aspect of the citizens, and the function of the event with respect to the matters of poverty and social exclusion. Obviously a mega-sporting event has positive impacts on the quality of life of host-city residents, not only those exactly connected with the association of the event solely but moreover, those in the tourism and selling of Olympic-related infrastructure because of the raised numbers of television viewers, spectators and tourists, and in the manufacturing industry notably when the skeleton of the event anticipates main infrastructure progress, for instance in the time of the Olympic Games [125]. In London, the host city of the 2012 Olympic Games, an investment of $5.8 billion was made in Olympic-related projects between the 2005 Olympic announcement and 2012. As a result, over 267,000 new jobs were created in the domain between 2005 and 2012. Research commissioned by the UK department for business, innovation and skills estimated that the accumulative economic impact of the Olympic Games between 2005 and 2013 was $ 14.5 billion [11, 73, 84]. Beijing, the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games, had a same experience, when, from October 2002 to August 2008, the general rate of unemployment fell from 4.10% to 3.90% [106, 140]. However, it should be agreed that the staging of a mega-sporting event obviously generates new jobs; the statement should be located on the quality and continuity of these jobs. Mega-events generate service-appropriate jobs which are mostly, short-term on-the-job training or employer-sponsored training programs and part-time or low wage job [91]. In her assessment of the Toronto 2008 Olympic bid, [89] achieves a similar consequence and indicates that the wide majority of the expected jobs would have been low-wages and short-lived. Furthermore, [79] stated that the Athens Olympics created only a few numbers of new fixed jobs since many of the Olympic related jobs were provisional; perhaps it requires encouraging searched for organizational strategies that are perceived to be legitimate or successful.

In regard to the issue of provision of employment and to the vast economic development of the host city, district or even country is the boost to the tourism industry because of the staging of a mega-sporting event. For instance, it has been stated that the tourism growth during the 2004 Football European Championships helped move Portugal’s trade level into its prime surplus since the beginning of 2003. Overall, over 500,000 visiting spectators and media came to the Portugal to attend Euro’04 matches, spending approximately $300 million in the ten host cities and surrounding areas during the three weeks of the championship [64]. Moreover, during the 2014 Football World Cup in Brazil, about 600,000 foreign people visited the country because of the event, spending 365 million dollars on hotels, travel and food [26]. The role of the media, which express culture, is essential respecting to raise awareness of the host city or region [119]. After the media has been in these event cities, they are no more similar because ‘like former celebrities, these cities anticipate a definite respect and appreciation long after their moments of success have been faded from the memory’. The research showed, for example, that the televised production of the world cup cricket 2011 in India led to increased package tourism to the host cities by as much as 55% [132].

Besides, four-year study of the image of Torino as host mega-sports event before and after the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, disclosed that the Games had a noticeable impact on the levels of recognition and knowledge of the city of Torino in Europe when compared to other Italian cities [2]. Comparably, in 2008, during the 16 days of the Beijing Olympic Games, it has been reported that about 2.5 million people visited Beijing and 4.7 billion people saw the city on worldwide television coverage in 220 countries and regions, and as an outcome, the tourist industry of the region increased dramatically [69, 141]. Research, although, represents that large-scale media coverage of a mega- sporting event or competitive matches can not provide an assurance, a different tourist image and economic development for the host city or area. For instance, a study performed in Berlin, Germany, two months before and after the organizing of the 2009 Athletics World Championships, considering that the effects of the event on foreign tourists’ perceptions of the target image, disclosed that very few of the foreign tourists travelling to Berlin connected the games with the city, although the event was an international media platform which can be used to highlight certain causes or become “alternative diplomatic instruments” and the largest ever mega-event in the region and the greatest in the world that year [72]. It was stated that although the media need to reflect the symbolic national rivalries between countries and athletes, coverage was intensive, it was emphasized on the sporting movements, and as a result, very little information was transferred about Berlin [115].

Furthermore, contrary to the greater number of tourism impact studies of mega-sporting events that handled by Fourie & Santana-Gallego [40], reviewed the tourism impact of the Olympic Games from 1995 until 2006 and found that their overall impact reduced tourism gain, or even loss. These results were afterward supported by Mills & Rosentraub [101] who have disproved tourism impact studies of events, such as the Olympics, for overstating policy approaches and ‘short-terminism’. By dedicating a long-term observation in the London Olympics, they realized that the event did not have a permanent impact on local tourism. As regards the Sochi Games, recent records of tourist arrivals in 2013 and early 2014 illustrate a small drop in visitor crowds to the city while figures for Russia’s cannot be justified by the immediate tourism impact, one could still argue that the new roads, railways, hotels, and leisure facilities help to attract more tourists. That is certainly the main line of argument of supporters of the Olympic project [104]. The dialogue above reinforces the argument that mega-sporting events have a positive economic effect on the host cities, areas or countries, but also indicates that the economic contribution of such events possibility lie in a single motive force of raised demand during the phase of the event, and accordingly it might lose its efficacy in a short performance. It is reasonable, thus, for one to evaluate whether the debate, which declares that mega-sporting events, can be of great privilege to the host community. A further explanation is suggested the effects of mega-sporting events in the housing market and land values. The building of event-related infrastructure can relate housing relocation because of the mandatory provision of land for clearance and building, and it can also guide to a rise in rents and house prices, negatively affecting people with low incomes living in these areas [130].

Negative social impacts have also been identified in connection with the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Between 1990 and 1995, 9,500 units of affordable housing were lost and $350 m of public funds were diverted from low-income housing, social services, and other support services for homeless and poor people, to Olympic preparation [10]. For example, all 252 units of the Athletes village in Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games were supposed to be transformed into social housing, including housing for people with disabilities. Due to a combination of rising construction costs, the economic downturn and increased financial constraints, only half of the units became subsidized [131]. Moreover, at the time in which Olympic-related infrastructure was at its peak, house prices rose 7 per cent above inflation, compared to the usual 2 per cent [57]. Additionally, in Sydney’s Olympic corridor, a region which was mainly occupied by low-income tenants and where unemployment was as high as 38%, rents added up to 23% in the period 1997–1998. The current maximum rate of unemployment benefit for a single, unemployed adult is $198.20 a week, including Rent Assistance–only 80% of the official poverty line for a single adult in the labor force. For a person under 21, the unemployment benefit is $170.15 a week 69 % of the poverty line [12].

Therefore, mega-sporting events, such as the Olympics, could function to intensify social differences and could presume that profound existing divides between residents, The “Olympic project” continues to dominate the city governance [15]. In 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, for instance, there were multiple statements of broken agreements by the Olympic organizers regarding the poverty issue and homelessness, in an area where 30% of the society maintained under the poverty line and vulnerability, an ever-growing homeless population made up of predominately black citizens [19]. However, one could declare that tax money can be utilized for projects, upon which a chosen government decides, when an event produces public debts, citizens are unequally taxed to pay off these debts.

Nagano, for instance, the host city of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games, confronted intensive financial consequences for hosting such a big event and Japanese government were left with an $11 billion debt [18]. Other examples consist of the Barcelona Olympics left the central Spanish government $4 billion in debt and the city and provincial governments an additional $2.1 billion in the red [126]. To finalize, when the socio-economic effect of a mega-sporting event is evaluated one should take into account an amount of essential observations. First, it is of pivotal importance whether the host city administers to use the one-time economic stimulus of such an event to change its pattern in a way that will provide a self-sustaining procedure through, for example, long-term tourism, planning to derive long-term legacies from hosting an event, industrial settlements, systematic follow-up events or even new economic relations with other areas or countries [42]. Second, it requires to be comprehended that the scale of the benefit for the total asset relies on the economic condition of the actual potential of the host city when event-connected investments are perceived. A stage of enlargement of investment activity and enhanced consumption expenditure in line with an economic boost or boom may reduce the positive economic profits. In other words, if event expenditures are made during an economic recession, these will be noticeably strengthened. The Olympic Games of Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004 and London 2012 for instance, were fortunate, in that their investments fell in an economically fragile period, while those of the Beijing 2008 probably led to crowding-out effects and responded to the Games with passion and a determination to shout and support their own competing hopefuls [111].

Eventually, cost–benefit analysis or economic effect studies are repeatedly ordered by the systematize authorities of an event, and accordingly, the outcomes which the applicant favors can be built, the effort must be considered as a trial, since there are some uncertain quantities and qualities, mostly of a social nature, which are easy to control [112]. Hence, one should keep in mind that a cost–benefit analysis of a mega-sporting event could be diminishing marginal returns, encouraged in a way to reveal the desired outcomes.

4.2. Socio-Cultural Effects

If one considers a mega-sporting event merely as a sporting celebration, it can be claimed that such an event will afford communities with opportunities to experience socio-cultural profits in the host area. For instance, mega-events the size of the Olympics can growth the local interest and participation in sporting activities, they can strengthen district traditions, quality of life and values, and growth local pride and community spirit [117]. As Nelson Mandela clasped the world cup in victory after Africa was granted football’s platform competition for the first time, millions of people celebrated for what was acclaimed as profoundly symbolic and a main step in the regeneration of a continent. Closer to home Carlos Arthur Nuzman from the Rio 2016 bid committee declares that you can be sure our level of dedication, collective spirit and will to deliver the Games is the highest possible [109].

Improved sports participation can make an important contribution to the quality of life of both the individual and society. However, increased sport participation can begin to understand and comprehend the socially situated nature of their work and prepares a sense of well-being through fun and joy, guiding to self-fulfillment and prosperous, and motivates social interaction and interrelation for those who may feel socially excluded [76]. For instance, London saw a remarkable increase in the participation of effective social sectors of the population in active sports in the years pursuing the hosting of the Olympic Games. In December 2012, Sport England’s Active People Survey said that 750,000 more people were playing sport more than once a week than in December 2011, with women’s participation up over 500,000. Besides, the participation of 25,000 artists represents all 204 NOCs and it culminated with the 12-week London 2012 Festival, which drew 19.5 million people, including 16.5 million attendances at free events, such as athletic competitions, favorite marathon, the bicycle festival and the roller-skating festival [73]. It has been declared that hundreds of sports participation and engagement programmes have been activated by local, city and national government departments, and by our commercial partners triggered by the 2012 Olympics. For example, Coca-Cola entered into a three-year partnership with national charity Street Games, the sports charity that brings sporting opportunities to young people in disadvantaged communities across the UK [92].

Similarly, the experience of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, so residents were informed, would make each individual a ‘better’ person by experiencing Baron de Coubertin’s Olympic ideals of peace and harmony between peoples. Sharing in the Sydney Games was thus promoted as the equivalent of a sacred experience or rite of passage, not only for the residents but also for the city itself [137]. A similar ‘coming home’ theme was raised through the notion of ‘football coming home’ that accompanied England’s 1996 European Championship campaign. Both these types of image, asserts, share some common ground in the sense that nostalgia is used in the first instance in a sentimental, reactionary and backward-looking comparison between past and present sport, while the second attempts to champion the present by drawing upon links to the past [77]. The hosting of mega-sporting events, thus, can prepare localities with an opportunity to produce world recognition and encourage their local prestige and community spirit.

Mega-sporting events can be interpreted as a need to counter balance the optimist discourse also contributes to transforming the image of the host city [128]. The Stratford area of the Valley, for example, which was UK capital’s historic and financial district, the area was largely unused and consisted mostly of brown fields with derelict industrial estates dating back hundreds of years, leaving behind a highly contaminated piece of land turned into a post-war munition dump, approved sport, leisure and tourism as part of the remaking strategy of the city. Under that attitude, the hosting of mega-sporting events was seen as an entire part of that strategy. Prior to the Games, Stratford and Newham were seen as London’s most socially deprived neighborhoods and the Olympics were seen as a great opportunity to improve conditions in these areas. The regeneration of East London, one of the main aims of the London 2012 bid [27]. The fortunate bid for the 2012 London Olympic Games and the pursuant investment of £2,378 million in sports infrastructure, leisure and cultural facilities by the early 2011 has given the city a new limelight [93]. Since the incidents of September eleven in New York, security matters have taken on a higher account during the Olympic Games as require for efficient crowd checking, safety and policing are significant conditions, for example, Beijing in 2008 reportedly had more than 80,000 security personnel at work [142]. Moreover, organizers need to be careful to ensure that negative psychological impacts do not occur due to unusual security. The history of the elimination of prostitutes and beggars, the vagabond and protesters as well as the increment powers of police to detain suspects show the endeavors of the organizers to show a good aspect, comfortably forgetting the civil liberties issues at stake.

4.3. Physical Effects

Mega-events will have a regenerative effect on the creative opportunities for the building of new sporting and recreational facilities as well as the betterment of the physical atmosphere of the host city [129]. The sphere of multi-sporting events such as the Olympics or the Asian Youth Games often includes the arrange of new sporting facilities or the rearranging of existing ones in order for the organizers to be able to fulfill the requirements of staging multiple sports in a short moment of time. Furthermore, the huge numbers of spectators and authentic persons as well as tourists connected with the event usually need the building of new roads and the improvement of the public transport network to confirm their effective transportation to the sporting venues during the event. Moreover, infrastructural growth that is not directly linked to the event often takes place, such as, recreational amenities, commercial places and outdoor spaces, which aim to boost the physical appearance of the host city or area. Therefore, it has become increasingly popular tools for responding to the urban crisis and common for mega-sporting events to be used as a catalyst for large-scale urban improvement with substantial impact on the landscape of the host cities [31]. Probably the best example of a mega-sporting event being used in this way was the Olympic Games in Barcelona, there was major investment in new transportation systems, including the construction of a coastal ring road; modernization of the port and airport; and restructuring of the city’s rail network. Other major improvements included renovating the sewer system, building residential facilities which served as the Olympic Village, and upgrading the urban technology and communications systems which was necessary in order to accommodate the world’s media [24].

Hence, the host officials may see mega-sporting events as a chance to fund and expose long-term projects, which would differently stay in the pending file for many years. Portugal, for instance, achieved the privilege to host the 2004 European Football Championships ahead of favorite Spain even though it owned insufficient stadiums and transport facilities. Offering the tournament to Portugal was seen as a way of supporting the country’s football, overall sporting development and companies paid to sponsor tournaments, to have their names on team shirts, in stadium to greater degrees of exposure [83]. The 2008 Beijing Games continued the theme of main urban change. For the 2008 Games, Beijing built thirty-seven stadiums and venues as sports facilities, spent $1.1 billion on transportation improvements in Beijing, $200 million to demolish dilapidated housing and urban buildings, and $3.6 billion to transform Beijing into a “digital” city [122].

Table 3. Request from Olympic-Related Users [74,75]

Comparably, in Athens, the host Olympic city of 2004, alongside the creation and renewal of several sports facilities, a £1.4 billion new airport launched in 2001 capable to handle 16 million passengers and 220,000 tons of cargo a year. In addition, the £820 million growth of the city’s underground was accomplished in early 2001 with the new lines, transferring a total of 150 million passengers a year, thus making 3000 full-time jobs. Moreover, 120 km of new road construction, six major new highway interchanges, an expanded metro system and upgrading of the old metro line stations, a 23-km two-line tram network, the renovation of various buildings in central Athens and the unification of the ancient sites of the city. All of these works contributed to the improvement of the city’s infrastructure and the achievement of a new, more attractive look to the city [113]. The impact of the games on the physical environment consists the building of new sport facilities, accommodation, turns to the look of the city, and transport joins as well as industrial space (Table 3).

For Athens 2004 Games, the city sought to increase the availability of industrial and commercial space, releasing an additional 1.1 million sq ft of space for event usage [90]. Mega-sporting events can help promote opportunities for the host sporting experts to engage in joint plans in order to work for numerous purposes and strengthen the Olympic values. In Sydney, for example, the Olympic Park has been converted to the public recreational facilities and home of the adventure playground facilities for children aged 8–13 years. Funding for the $1.7 billion Olympic Park came from the public and private funds leverage the fame of the Olympics to draw foreign investment down under, and arrange a marketing plan that trumpets the Sydney Olympics around the world without resorting to crass commercialism [9]. Moreover, in Beijing, the host city of the 2008 Summer Olympics, an 80,000 seat stadium, is a common project of the China International Trust and Investment Company and home of the football team Beijing Guoan FC [5]. Even though the staging of mega-events can contribute to the urban development of the host community networking, consideration should be placed on the procedures involved for accomplishing main construction/implementation plans [21]. However, the set deadline for the construction of venues and the finishing of infrastructure supports are often used by local politicians as the reason for main constructions to bypass the usual stages in urban development applications, involving social and environmental estimation, public hearings, and so on. In Athens, for instance, the host city of the 2004 Olympics, the intention about the construction of the rowing centre for the Games at the Marathonas Lake was judged for lacking sufficient environmental analysis. It has been declared that the project will undermine the natural resources and inappropriate exploitation of natural resources of the waterland cause collateral damage in the area [100].

The phasing of a mega-sporting event, possibly poses extra ecological problems, mainly when provisional buildings are constructed for the necessities of the event. At the Atlanta Games, for example, the temporary nature of facilities for four sporting disciplines at the Atlanta Olympic Games, which were demolished after the event due to their limited use by the local community [124]. In this situation, the practices of disposing of such material, which cannot be recycled, fail to qualify as ecologically sustainable development. Eventually, when the infrastructure projects accelerate, other public works can be delayed or replaced. Besides, when a huge amount of state funds are channeled into one metropolitan region, this often results in insufficient infrastructure projects in suburban zones and in other regions [123]. The option for such projects is generally a political one, since the cost of the often extensive event-relevant infrastructure is mainly guaranteed by local governments. This, in order, emphasizes the duty of governments and the following politics related to hosting a mega-sporting event, which is given below.

4.4. Political Effects

The skeleton of a mega-sporting event on the importance of the Olympic Games or the Football World Cup usually has as its central component local, provincial or even central governments. The major reason for that is that the administration of such events generates difficulties in covering full cost recovery or the cost for the supportive infrastructure of the game or even for operating costs from ticket sales, sponsorship, television rights and so on, and hence, governments’ economic contribution is often needed [43]. For example, the cost of the sport and supportive infrastructure of the 2000 Sydney Olympics was often covered by the government of New South Wales which, moreover, provided various economic bailouts to the organizers to protect their operating costs [107].

Accordingly, therefore, the intention to bid for hosting a mega-sporting event is backed by governments, which mostly initiate such decisions, particularly when the event provides the ability to pay them back in the form of economic, physical or other advantages. Public governance is often involved in such attempts at a local or regional level, since, with the exemption of football games, mega-sporting events are awarded to cities rather than countries. In addition, local governments have become relatively independent from central governments, and as a result, they have adopted less bureaucratic and more acceptable practices. Matheson & Baade [99] found that below this modification, the struggle to host and manage mega-sporting events has been an essential portion for urban politics as well as the potential for prestige and the opportunity. Using the example of Berlin’s failed attempt to host the 2000 Olympics, Alberts [3] argues that the Olympics also provides a positive legacy for failed bid cities, giving them “an opportunity to carry out or speed up urban development projects that might otherwise not be realized or only much later.”

Hall [51] declares that the purposes influencing the hosting of a mega-event come over a political method which not only includes the interests of political rights, but also those of private, profit-oriented institutions. The New South Wales government in Australia, for example, which was completely connected with the organization of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, has affected more entrepreneurial-driven forms of governance, since a wide range of non-government, mostly private, organizations were integrated into the NSW Government’s resolution making and policy formulation process [37]. Hence, under the new urban political importance, an attempt to bid for mega-events, like the Olympics, is not merely made by local or district governments but often include business corporations.

In that sense, these spectacular events are often credited with mobilizing corporate elites and local politicians in beneficial alliances that not only can boost local construction and retail and tourism industries, but can also generate considerable infrastructure funding from higher levels of government [58, 98]. As a result, these alliances require justification for the tax money expenditures, so they engage citizens in persuasion campaigns to support bids for the right to host a sport mega-event. Moreover, a large number of scholarly studies have shown that taxpayers unreasonably bear the burden when they give support for the use of tax money for the staging of sport mega-events. For example, Toronto’s bid for the 2008 Olympics and the policy of the bid committee about sporting requirements mainly focused on the needs of masterly sport, with little regard to boost local larger sport policy [133]. Throughout the years of the Olympic developments, an organizing committee for the Games makes connections with different external organizations, which often restrict its operations, as the case of Sydney demonstrates. Especially, the Sydney organizing committee was in requirement of financial resources from the International Olympic Committee, the New South Wales Government and the Olympic supporters, human resources from Australian Trade Unions and the global community in the form of staff and volunteers, expert information from the International Federations as well as physical resources provided by the regional government in the form of Olympic-linked infrastructure (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Associate with externally held resources

However, corporate legitimacy, while intangible in feature, was a necessary apparently held resource for the organizing committee. Corporate legitimacy is used here to mentioning the legal adjustments made as much by the International Olympic Committee as by the regional government until provides the organizing committee with the suitable legal status and authority to function. Such classifications do not only involve the host city contract, which determined the noticeable legal framework, but also a sequence of legal agreements. Overall, hence, resources held by external actors were significant to the organizing committee all over its life cycle. The organizing committees of mega-sporting events mostly involve elected delegates who act as their members or equal managers, such as in the case of a New South Wales Parliament delegate, who was also the manager of the Sydney 2000 organizing committee. Such politicians frequently experience incompatible pressures to indicate taxpayers’ interests on the one hand, and financial gain interests on the other. The dual character of the member, for instance, was boosted by the NSW government as a main element in holding the project on target and on budget; Moreover, it was claimed that the Olympics were undermined when, for example, Michael Knight’s dual role as the member of the Australian parliament and cabinet minister for the Olympics and the chair of the Sydney organizing committee for the Olympic Games prevented him from criticizing the Government’s handling of the Sydney water supply contamination resulted from the Olympic construction works, and its serious implication for Olympic tourism [34].

Eventually, a supplementary political application of classifying a mega-sporting event is what Ritchie [118] points out as a micro-political factor. This applies to the tendency of individuals to utilize the perspective offered by the connection with an event with an insight to improving their careers in both political and non-political arenas. Especially, politicians who are connected with the organization of excellent mega-events, like elite sport, mass participation and the Olympics, have the chance to enhance their political image by connecting themselves with the event and implications for event planning, in addition to expanding their publicity agents through connection with sporting authorities and commercial companies engaged in the event, particularly mega hallmark events. The condition of the head of the Sydney Olympic Games, for example, who retired from politics after the Games and is now hiring for the International Olympic Committee, perhaps seen as such a model.

Our debate about the effects of mega-sporting events point out that such event can make a roadmap for both favorable and unfavorable effects for the host cities or countries. It has been revealed that nearly all the favorable applications of such events have also an unfavorable side, which is often expressed in academic debates. Moreover, what can be seen as incontestable is that mega-sporting events can value the managerial activities and measurements of the organizing committees. The sporting authorities associated with the coordination of a mega-sporting event can value by acquiring experience necessary for organizing future mega-events. It has been announced, for instance, that for the London sports world the organization of the 2012 Olympic Games was an enormous opportunity for boosting its methods of management and its organizational capability, for joining up better with the international sports network, and hence for being better provided to serve the city’s daily sports requirements. Sport complexes, sporting associations, and sports management organizations have also profited from the aggregated know-how, having boosted their workforces with the addition of workers connected with the organizing committee of the Games [28].

Individuals, hence, can obtain sport-specific managerial proficiency, which can then be reverted as an advantage to the sport supervision of the host country, and can also prepare these countries with a remarkable advantage when they wish to phase future mega-events. Besides, the organization of multi-sport events, such as the Olympic Games, which often needs trading-like management, can enhance the methods of the public administration, a booming sports trade and advanced sports. In Beijing, for example, the Olympic preparations for the 2008 Games, which needed the formation of many provisional companies, triggered the reconstructing of the legal structure concerning the creation of public corporations, limited companies and close cooperation between the government and the business community saw their complementary strength brought into full play. Especially, the time span for beginning such organizations was dropped to one week from the two months that sooner existed [13].

5. Conclusions

This article reviews recent work on mega-sporting events, recurrent feature of mega-event bidding and organization and the Olympic Games as model examples to describe the levels of effect on the host city, region and country. The explaining features of such mega-events have been recognized in the literature as the degree of effect, the scale of the duration, the organizational complexity and involvement of different agents. Because of the increasing size, the organizing of the Olympics currently involves remarkable investment in sporting facilities, supporting infrastructure and services, just as in accommodation, transportation and telecommunications. Such a costly, complex and high-level activity as hosting the Olympic Games comprises different interests ranging from the commercial, with their hesitancy to maximize profit, to the governmental, with their hesitancy for political, social and economic advantages. Particularly in the host cities, the advantages to be obtained from organizing the Games can be tremendous and various. For instance, they can boost economic affair as an outcome of the jobs produced in hospitality-related sectors.

The formation of sports facilities can also represent in programmes of urban modernization by, for instance, introducing new sporting and amusement equipments into earlier under-provided areas. On a Large-scale, beginnings of the event can also furnish a means of justifying new investment in transport foundation and in projects to boost the city’s landscape and physical aspect. Drawing examples from the latest mega-events, the argument in effects has underlined positive as well as negative ones and prepared examples of how structures as well as acting human agents influence results. Enhanced city awareness, economic improvement, job representation and urban reconstruction have been witnessed in company with high inflation, costly housing, threats to civil liberties of specific groups, terrorist attacks and even city disgrace after disclosures of bribery scandals. It is nonetheless argued that the International Olympic Committee, together with local Olympic organizers and public relations authorities, has mostly succeeded in maintaining the notion that, while negative effects as well as panics may reveal themselves in incompetence or boycotts, the sport world is unquestionably supportive of the Olympic venture.

Hence, despite the comprehensive criticisms surrounding the organization of the Olympic Games, which mostly challenge the link between the notions of Olympism and the modern nature of the event, the Games are constantly growing in magnitude and importance. In effect, the modern Olympics maintain the position of a mega-event, and economic advantages are the main motive for all the interests included in the hosting of the Games, be it the local Government, which searches urban development of the area through infrastructure made for the organizing of the event, or the corporation that turns into a sponsor of the event to absorb publicity. Although bidders conflict for the homage of winning the hosting of a mega-event, the desired economic, fiscal, social, cultural and political results are anticipated to affirm their actions. Additional research in the area is needful to judge the advantages of such commitments in light of costs and potential negative effects.

Note

This is not meant as an exhaustive review of sports mega-event literature, but rather as an overview of the almost recent Olympic Games of this topic in leveraging on the host country and society.

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