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State strategies for leveraging sports mega-events: unpacking the concept of ‘legacy’

Grix, J and Brannagan, PM and Wood, H and Wynne, C (2017) State strategies for leveraging sports mega-events: unpacking the concept of ‘legacy’. International Journal of Sport Policy, 9 (2). pp. 203-218. ISSN 1940-6940

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Abstract

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The spiralling costs of hosting sports mega-events (SMEs) are usually justified by the ‘legacies’ that they produce. Therefore, this article begins by problematising the notion of SME ‘legacies’ and the benefits they are intended to bring to hosts. The article serves as a general introduction to the papers that follow in this Special Issue. Common to all papers is a concern with the multifaceted nature of ‘legacy’, its meaning to a variety of stakeholders involved in such events and how this impacts policy. The belief in the causal relationship between hosting major events and the realisation of specific legacies–increased sport participation in London’s case, highlighted in this paper–underpinned the United Kingdom’s bidding for, and subsequent hosting of, the Olympics. Thus, this paper serves as a discussion of some of the key concepts in, and assumptions about, the use of SMEs to produce a legacy for the hosting state.

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