Around the Rings and TSE Consulting based in Switzerland have introduced their inaugural Sports Cities Index.
The results position London as lead city, Sydney as runner-up, followed by Vancouver, Melbourne and Singapore –all cities/countries with strong sports heritage. That really speaks to the perceived value and impact in Australia of major sporting events. The survey is based on both public perception and expert insight responses between mid-October and early-November 2012. Rankings are built around a group of 50 cities selected through criteria such as staging recent and upcoming Olympics or other major multi-sport Games, hosting professional sports teams as well as organising major championships or world-class events such as tennis Grand Slams and Formula 1 races.
Separately, Sportcal in the UK has published results of its Global Sports Impact (GSI) Project
This is a report that analyses the success of cities in attracting major sports events. The report covers nearly 700 major sporting events between 2007 and 2018. London is rated number one by a large margin. Second and third are Rio de Janeiro and Moscow respectively; with Beijing and Paris being fourth and fifth. Two of the cities bidding to host the 2020 Olympic Games feature in the top 10 in the index, with Tokyo in sixth position and Istanbul in ninth. Auckland comes in at seventh, reflecting the 2011 Rugby World Cup – but no Australian city has made the top 10.
A wake-up call…
So, while our own perceptions of value and impact of major sporting events may be high, it seems that Australia is not seen as robust in terms of actual impact or recent success in attracting new events. We need to think that one through – the details are more complex but are we still going down this route? While governments here back away from significant support for major events at a time other countries are committing more resources to events and related infrastructure, our global position may not improve.