Australia regularly draws large crowds to sporting events
SYDNEY – Australia will host an exceptional calendar of major international sporting events over the next decade as part of a long-term plan to boost tourism, health and the economy while improving its global image.
The country’s welcoming climate, sporty inhabitants, stable political environment and quality infrastructure have long made it an attractive destination.
But the sheer volume of major sporting events taking place in Australia is unprecedented for the nation of 26 million.
Australian Olympic Committee chief Matt Carroll calls it the green and gold – the country’s sporting colors – “track” culminating in the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
“More than 30 major world sporting events will take place in Australia over the next 10 years,” he said.
As well as the annual Australian Open in tennis and Formula 1, the country will this year host the Men’s Twenty20 World Cup in Cricket, the Women’s Basketball World Cup and the World Road Cycling Championships. UCI this year.
It will then co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup with New Zealand in 2023, a British and Irish Lions rugby tour in 2025, the Commonwealth Games in 2026, the Netball World Cup in 2027 and the Champions League. golf chairs a year later.
An announcement expected next month that it will also stage back-to-back men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups in 2027 and 2029 will further cement Australia’s status as a sporting powerhouse.
“Sport brings health, educational and well-being benefits to the community and can play a central role in motivating Australians to be active, reduce obesity and other health issues, including mental illness,” Carroll said.
– ‘Well-being factors’ –
Bidding for major events is part of Sport 2030, a government roadmap established in 2018 that recognizes the wider economic and social implications of sport, which is already deeply embedded in Australian culture and identity.
But organizing a major competition like the Olympics has a financial price.
“Return on investment is a complex issue,” Popi Sotiriadou, associate professor of sports management at Griffith University in Queensland, told AFP.
“There are things we can’t measure – you can’t put a dollar value on national pride. There’s so much of what we call ‘public goods’ that don’t necessarily translate into dollars.
“There are legacies in terms of feel-good factors, people feel that connection with each other.
“And with all major sporting events, we have this trickle down effect, this inspirational effect of elite athlete success, community promotion, tourism boost, we have business benefits, development benefits. employment, infrastructure benefits, better public facilities.”
Sports Minister Richard Colbeck called the upcoming blitz “unprecedented in our history” as Australia seeks to “enhance its reputation as the world’s premier sporting host nation”.
According to government data, 14 million Australians participate in sports each year, millions attend live games and the sector generates around 3% of gross domestic product.
It’s big business, generating A$83 billion ($61 billion) in combined economic, health and education benefits each year, with a return on investment of A$7 for every $1 spent, according to Sports 2030.
– Experienced host –
Australia has long been lauded for its ability to host big-ticket showpieces, stemming from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, which were widely regarded as a benchmark.
Then-International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch declared them “the best ever” – and not just in terms of operations, but also in the design and construction of venues at the management and marketing.
More than 20 years later, these skills have been further honed.
Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos, who is involved in the Rugby World Cup bid, said strong government and public support made a big difference.
“That’s one of the benefits of operating in a country like Australia,” he told SportsPro magazine. “Because there is such a familiarity with having to organize and participate in major events.
“States and certainly the federal government know the issue quite well, so they understand that once you’ve presented them with a very compelling economic impact assessment, the decision-making process is relatively straightforward.”