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For cities, hosting major sporting events is a double-edged sword

David Rowe writes in The Conversation (5.5.17) that investing in staging a major sporting event is ultimately a matter of turning the entire host environment into a stage.

'Just as the publicity machine is cranking up for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, new Australia-based bids have already been signalled to host the same event in the future. Shepparton is leading a bid by 11 regional Victoria cities and towns for the 2030 Commonwealth Games. And western Sydney is interested in hosting the event in either 2026 or 2030.

'Nobody in Australia seems to have been deterred from bidding by Durban losing the rights to hold the 2022 Commonwealth Games because the South African city could not afford it. Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and even a Gold Coast reprise have been mooted as replacements.

'Meanwhile, a 2017 V8 Supercars Championship event is controversially to be held for the first time amid the heritage streets and green foreshore spaces of Newcastle East this November.

'Despite the event’s under-performance at – and subsequent departure from – Sydney’s Olympic Park, Newcastle City Council, the New South Wales state government and Destination NSW have been happy to wave it through with minimal consultation and attention to due process.

'But what is the appeal of hosting big sporting events and does the economic equation stack up?'


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