chapter  8
16 Pages

The case of Euro96

Where did the party go?
WithRex Nash, Sam Johnstone

As is well known, since the 1984 Olympics (which generated a surplus of over $200m), sport tournaments can be enormously big business, and are increasingly designed with the needs of sponsors and other major corporate interests in mind. At their most successful, major tournaments like the Olympics or the World Cup can enormously improve the economic status and tourist appeal of a city or region. Investment floods into the area, infrastructural redevelopment is carried out, and local populations can witness increased trade, repeat tourism, and the creation of a whole new image for a city or region within the global economy (Brunet, 1996), although as Critcher (1992) argues, this is by no means guaranteed. Whitson and Macintosh (1993) argue that tournaments can be a useful, if difficult, way of recreating the entire image of a region in a de-localised global economy with the capacity to locate its operations anywhere in the world. De Moragas Spa, Rivenburgh and Garcia (1996) meanwhile have demonstrated how the globalising, homogenising tendencies of events like the Olympics can be resisted, and the technology behind homogenisation subverted and put to work in support of local, specific and diverse cultures.