chapter  15
16 Pages

Sport and urban tourism destinations: the evolving sport, tourism and leisure functions of the modern stadium

WithTerry Stevens

The sports stadium is becoming more readily integrated and accepted as a fundamental component of the leisure industry and tourism in general. The word ‘stadium’ is derived from the ancient Greek name for a footrace observed by spectators (Stevens, 1994).The appreciation of the importance of stadia in civic life is an ancient phenomenon, but one that was confined to a small part of Europe until the mid-twentieth century. Inglis (1993) speculates as to why this is the case, highlighting that many cities in Europe had no classical stadia as ‘at Olympia or Delphi’; no ‘Coliseum as in Rome’; no ‘arena as in Arles, Nimes or Verona’. Ironically, today these heritage stadia are also part of the tourism resources of these destinations (Luciani, 1990).