Grant Jarvie: Creating ‘psychic income’
CITIES have good reason to compete for the right to stage major sporting events. There’s a great deal more at stake than the ‘feel-good factor’. The long-term benefits can be huge.
Scotland is attempting to win its share of global sporting events, but why do cities and countries bid for sporting events and is Glasgow ready for the 2014 Commonwealth Games?
Glasgow is ahead of where London was two years out from the event. More than 70% of the facilities were in place when Glasgow was awarded the Games in 2007. Since then the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Commonwealth Sports Arena, the Tollcross International Swimming Centre and a refurbished Edinburgh Commonwealth Poll are either on track or have been opened.
But it takes more than sporting facilities to be ranked as a successful sporting city. The 70,000 volunteers, the 20,000 media, and a 5,000-strong Olympic family make London 2012 the largest peacetime mobilisation in the world.
Prior to the 2012 Olympics, London already had a reputation for hosting successful sporting events. According to Eventscotland, Glasgow is currently ranked as the ninth best sporting city. In 2008, Sport Business International magazine ranked it 11th using a points system based on a range of criteria including accommodation and transport links. Meanwhile, it is bidding to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, and is learning from what other cities and countries do.
A host of world class venues are ready or nearing completion. Scottish athletes have made a significant contribution to the Olympic 2012 team GB and the high performance arm of sportscotland and its partners will continue to build on this. With London 2012 proving to be the most successful Olympics of all time for Scottish athletes, we can look forward with confidence to Glasgow 2014. There are a record 55 Scots in team GB and their experiences in London will enhance their chances in Glasgow.
Glasgow already has a volunteering programme in place. There has been investment in Scottish universities so athletes can combine sport and education. Some universities such as Edinburgh are associated with more gold medals than many countries.
Major sporting events are chased and secured by a number of places in the belief that reputations can be enhanced and economies stimulated.
Few economic studies measure the “feel-good” factor associated with major sporting events. “Psychic income” takes many forms, including a sense of community and common purpose as well as sporting success. This has been evident in the case of London, and Glasgow will benefit from this.
An OECD review identified direct benefits stemming from strategic alignment with plans for the city or nation; private-public investment partnerships; image and identity impact attracting population, investment and trade; environmental impacts upon built and natural environments and the potential for the expansion of infrastructure and the development of a more buoyant visitor economy.
The indirect benefits include potential post-event use of land and buildings; infrastructure legacies; labour market impacts; property price increase and global positioning.
Brazil secured the back-to-back staging of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic games. The opportunity to construct and modernise stadiums, expand airports and improve transport is all being grasped, but also the opportunity to position the country and Rio de Janeiro as places for economic and social investment as a result of sport.
The branding of Singapore through the hosting of the first ever 2010 Youth Olympic Games was part of medium-term strategy to position Singapore as a sports hub. The success of the Formula I Singapore Grand Prix, the Youth Olympic Games the Asian Games and a dedicated stopping off place for teams preparing for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games all helped to gain recognition for Singapore.
Istanbul was named as the 2012 European Capital of Sport. The Turkish government recognised the power of sport to showcase Turkey while at the same time recognising that it had to fix a problem with grassroots participation. In 2011, Istanbul hosted the Turkish Grand Prix, the WTA Championships and the Eurasia Marathon. In 2012, the World Indoor Athletics Championships and the World Swimming Championships are in Istanbul, and it has hosted Champions League and UEAF Cup football finals.
Turkey has attempted to use sport as part of a strategy to gain entry into the EU, and also to develop diplomatic relations with Armenia
Assumptions need to be continually tested on a case-by-case basis. For example, in 2003 there were 14 million visitors to Greece but in 2004 when it hosted the Athens Olympic Games, visitor numbers fell by one million to 13 million.
Scotland has a lot of experience and evidence from elsewhere to draw upon. Like Brazil, Singapore and Turkey, Scotland has learned that the key to sustainability and growth lies not in chasing one event, but a succession of events one after the other.
The economic importance of sport to Scotland is increasing. Consumer expenditure on sport as a percentage of total expenditure is greater in Scotland than England (2.5 per cent in Scotland compared with 2.3 per cent in England) Sport contributes to 2 per cent of total employment in Scotland compared to 1.8 per cent in England. The year-on-year attraction of events such as the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup contributes to an estimated £700m from event tourism, but it also helps to create jobs.
Scotland is committed to working with all 32 local authorities to deliver 150 Community Sport Hubs by 2016. Singapore viewed sport being able to ignite opportunities, generate knowledge and improve economic and human capabilities. In the competition of securing sporting events, Scotland has progressed beyond the first round. Glasgow currently exemplifies this progress because it has learned from other cities and countries.
• Professor Grant Jarvie is with the University of Edinburgh.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east