Assessing the environmental impact of economic activity surrounding major sport events

Authored by: Andrea Collins , Annette Roberts

Routledge Handbook of Sport and the Environment

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138666153
eBook ISBN: 9781315619514
Adobe ISBN:


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Published studies that have assessed the impacts of major sport events have tended to focus on their economic impacts or wider related economic development effects. As Preuss (2007) explains, “Most often the economic impact is measured because it is tangible and needed for political justification of investing scarce public resources in an event” (p. 212). Indeed, the potential contribution to economic growth is often the dominant reason why an increasing number of public sector organizations are developing event or sport-based development strategies and bidding to host major events (Gratton, Shibli, & Coleman, 2005). In addition to these economic benefits, more recently, major sport events are being used to leverage wider social and environmental benefits. For example, London’s hosting of the 2007 Tour de France Le Grand Départ was used not only as an opportunity to “showcase” the city as a suitable location for staging world-class sporting events and generate additional visitor expenditure, but also to promote cycling in London.

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