Tuesday, 24 July 2007

"Inappropriate to local needs"

From the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a report issued in March 2007 about Halifax's failed bid for the Commonwealth Games:

Authors James Wildsmith (development economist), and Michael Bradfield (Professor of Economics, Dalhousie conclude that the “Halifax bid over-estimated the benefits and under-estimated the costs and that hosting the Games would be a very expensive way to generate sports and other infrastructure.”

“When governments support the development of major sporting events” according to Wildsmith “they need to ensure the public's best interest by taking into account the overall costs and benefits of the event.”

Bradfield points out that “the estimated economic benefit from the Halifax Games and spending by tourists was grossly over-estimated and the forecasting model used was an inappropriate tool to base an investment decision on.”

The appropriate tool according to the authors is a cost-benefit analysis which, while required by the federal government, was not completed for the Halifax bid.

The report’s review of the experience of other cities that have hosted major international sporting events concludes that legitimate benefits of these events are the legacy of the games facilities and the urban infrastructure built for them. But Wildsmith points out “games usually do not even cover the costs of running them and the pubic is left to foot the bill for infrastructure and long term maintenance.” The reality is, Bradfield adds, that “in most cities, the infrastructure is expensive to build, costly to maintain, and inappropriate to local needs.”

Read the report here.

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