Conceptualizing sport event legacy

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Event Management, 2013, 17 (2), pp. 111 - 122
Issue Date:
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Events legacies have become a common feature in the public policy rhetoric surrounding sport events of all sizes. Public policy planners and event organizers are increasingly promoting the legacies of sport events to justify significant investments required to host them. Within the context of special events, legacy is most often recognized as the long-term or permanent outcomes for a host city from staging an event. These outcomes include potential economic, tourism, social, physical, and/or environmental factors. However, the justification of legacies from events remains complicated due to inconsistent conceptualizations of legacy across academic and industry practice. While legacy is an increasing component of event bids as well as funding justifications and postevent reports, the concept itself has attracted limited critical analysis. This article puts forth a comprehensive review of literature that has sought to define legacy, from 1991-2008, drawing on event management, sport management, and urban planning contexts. An inductive interpretive analysis of definitions was undertaken, in which key considerations were identified and definitions assessed against these. The analysis revealed five key considerations of legacy in application to the sport event management context. In doing so, this article contributes to both theoretical debate and improved strategic practice surrounding the emergence of "legacy" as justification for staging sport events. © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
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