Managing event places and viewer spaces : security, surveillance and stakeholder interests at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

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This thesis explores the security risk management and commercial organisation of public urban spaces at the 2010 FIFA World Cup (FWC) in South Africa. Extending knowledge of how commercial interests intersect with security risk management of public urban spaces at sport mega-events, this study examines these concepts in a developing world context. Using a neoliberal theoretical lens and drawing on the concepts of Festivalisation and Disneyisation, the research contributes to academic scholarship in the areas of both sport and event management. This is achieved through a critical examination of security and commercialisation strategies in ‘public spaces’ at a sport mega-event, namely, public viewing areas (PVAs) and commercial restricted zones (CRZs). The research problem was investigated by means of an inductive interpretive qualitative case study approach. The selected event was the 2010 FWC, and within this event an in-depth case study of Cape Town was selected for examination. Multiple sources of evidence included government, management, and media documentation. In addition, semi-structured interviews were drawn upon to generate a narrative of the roles and interests of three key stakeholders (the event owner, event sponsor and event host) in the process of strategically managing PVAs and CRZs. The government’s policies, decisions, and actions associated with staging of the 2010 FWC reflected new and exemplary forms of neoliberal urban governance in concert with intensified levels of policing and securitisation. The measures taken to combat ambush marketing were of particular note. FIFA’s requirements on the host city facilitated decisions about public and private spaces that redefined public policies and rules. Intensification of spatial and social fragmentation and greater exclusion resulted; in other words, the evidence demonstrates the phenomenon of the ‘FIFA-isation’ of public space. Rhetoric from event owners and city authorities on the benefits of hosting the FWC claimed intended outcomes, which were the exact opposite of what eventuated. As demonstrated by the example of South Africa and Cape Town in particular, inexperienced mega-event hosting developing nations and BRIICS (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Korea) have not yet developed strong sensibilities of how to cope with the demands of trans-national organisations and multi-national corporations. This may be one reason why FIFA now invites developing countries and BRIICS to stage the FWC, as they tend to be more willing to accede to the organisation’s demands, owing to their desire to host the FWC in order to raise their global profile. The conceptual outcomes of this thesis provide a significant contribution to the literature exploring security risk management and commercialisation at sport mega-events. While this exploratory study has produced sufficient evidence to justify the need for further research in this area of sport mega-events, it also highlights that the interface between security and commercialisation is complex and defies easy generalisation.
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