Prospective candidate cities considering whether or not to host large international sports events need to be able to weigh up the potential costs and benefits. Under scrutiny from tax payers, candidate cities need to understand whether investing government resources in these events represent value for money.
To provide a credible response to this challenge, an international sports organisation commissioned us to develop a framework for assessing the costs and benefits of public spending on these events and apply this framework to interpret the available evidence.
We developed a framework based on a holistic view of the actual and anticipated returns to the investment of public resources in hosting an event.
It is based on three core principles:
We prepared a report that summarised the framework and our analysis of existing evidence. The report supports conversations with prospective hosts and key stakeholders, including the public.
Overall, our analysis showed that the economic benefits associated with hosting a large international sports event were greater than the core public spending required to deliver the event. Social, environmental and sports benefits were often not quantified.