Mega sport event legacies and the 2010 FIFA World Cup

10 Apr 2017

Both developing and developed countries are attracted to hosting mega sport events. The FIFA World Cup is regarded as a prestigious event and for the first time in its history Africa hosted the 2010 tournament in South Africa. There are considerable debates pertaining to the capability of developing countries to host mega sport events given the development challenges it poses. South Africa is no exception. There is an increasing focus on legacies associated with the hosting of mega events, particularly in view of the massive public investments required to justify the bidding for and hosting of such events. Furthermore, given the extensive media coverage and exposure associated with such events a range of long-term impacts were and are anticipated. There are various types of legacies associated with mega events which include economic, social, physical/infrastructural, sporting, environmental and political impacts. From conceptual and theoretical standpoints this article draws on the growing body of literature on sport events and examines legacies associated with the hosting of mega events generally and in relation to the 2010 FIFA World Cup specifically. It also identifies key mega sport event legacies and critically examines their possible positive and negative impacts. The importance of examining legacy impacts is underscored to inform future bids and planning processes.