The hosting of major sporting events is becoming a global growth market, but a report from the Federation’s English equivalent, the Sport & Recreation Alliance (the “SRA”) has found that governing bodies of sport are thinking twice about bidding due to the financial risks attached to the process.
The report shows that 67 per cent of the UK’s NGBs see the risk of investing into the – often costly – bidding process as the main obstacle to launching a bid. Bidding for major events has become increasingly competitive, as hosting an event is often seen as providing three benefits; a financial boost for organisers, increasing a sport’s profile and improving facility infrastructure.
For the report, SRA anonymously asked the chairs and chief execs of the biggest sport governing bodies in the UK about their experiences of bidding for major events. Half of all respondents also said that the government – both at central and local level – was not doing enough to support bids.
Andy Reed, SRA chair, said: “Our research has shown that the financial risk of holding major events is holding some governing bodies back.” Major events is a global growth market that is out there for the taking – greater local authority support as well as the government putting their proposed Major Events Bill into action would really help the UK to exploit the big opportunities that are out there more.”
The issues raised by the SRA Report are interesting ones in light of the Government’s stated intention in the Programme for Government to prioritise event tourism and indeed, the discussion taking place around a possible Rugby World Cup Bid.
There can be little doubt that the successful bidding for sports events requires close co-operation between government both national and local and sport. The Federation has in the past pointed to the model used in Denmark, Sport Events Denmark, which is a joint venture between government and sport and specialises in bidding for sports events. Sport Events Denmark is now successful in 2 out of every 3 bids it makes.