Global sporting events have always been about much more than just sport. Think worldwide media attention, urban re-generation, business opportunities and unprecedented positive PR.
Two years on from the hugely successful London 2012 Olympic Games, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as the area is now known, has been opened to the public for leisure and sporting activities. Naysayers usually like to point to the headline cost of these attention grabbing projects. However the financial return has been proven to have a very long tail. Look at Barcelona post the 1992 Olympic Games. It is often voted one of the best cities in the world and is now one of Europe’s most visited places.
On a more local level, the recently completed Yorkshire based Grand Depart element of the 2014 Tour France has left many mementoes in its wake and a wave of enviable publicity for the region. Similarly the just wrapped up Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, saw the city perform well on the big screen, with the financial viability of the scheme still to be calculated up.