Sport tourist behaviour: the example of the Masters games
Ryan and Lockyer (2002) trace the development of the modern generation of Masters games to the jogging boom of the 1970s and 1980s. The core of the Masters games has been the traditional sports of the modern Olympic Games, with athletics and swimming events very much to the fore. Nonetheless, like the modern Olympiad, the numbers of sports being offered continue to expand. For example, the 2005 World Masters Games in Edmonton, Canada, offers 17 core sports that include golf, and an additional 10 optional sports that include ten-pin bowling. The reasons for such an expansion are both economic and social. The economic rationale is that promoting cities, organizers and sponsors wish to attract as many out-of-region competitors as is possible in order to maximize revenues and economic impacts. Masters games attract potentially large-spending competitors, whose nature is also perceived not only as being economically beneficial but also as posing few problems for law enforcement agencies and possessing little potential for being controversial.This is not always true of other events. For example, the Canberra V8 Australian Super Saloon series, while perhaps bringing a high-octane event to Canberra that attracted significant television coverage, was generally not approved by local residents, who resented the intrusion on traffic flow, the noise and a perceived ‘petrolhead’ image. Masters games, on the other hand, are seen as attracting above-average income and educated groups who are drawn not only by feelings of competition but also by friendly social environments to which, in turn, they contribute. The ability of such games to attract large numbers of competitors is demonstrated by the 20 000 competitors attending the 2002 Melbourne World Masters Games.