Report Claims Commonwealth Games Can Provide More Than £1 Billion Economic Boost
The Commonwealth Games Value Framework Report was produced by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who were commissioned by the CGF.
The report is aimed at the CGF, host cities, Commonwealth Games Associations and other stakeholders, with the intention of outlining the benefits of hosting the multi-sport event and how it can assist cities in achieving their ambitions.
Research and data for the report was taken from the Manchester 2002, Melbourne 2006, Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, with Delhi 2010 excluded due to a lack of available evidence on costs and benefits.
CGF chief executive David Grevemberg believes the report can provide future host cities with greater “context and confidence” when assessing why they may want to host the Games.
Grevemberg said the report provided a framework which future hosts could base their Games around, helping to set targets to ensure the event can be a justifiable investment and provide accountability.
“The CGF recognise, particularly in the difficult global climate we are in, that the costs of staging a major sporting event such as the Commonwealth Games is a huge commitment to those cities that have competing priorities for funding,” Grevemberg said.
“Prospective candidate cities, who correctly are under increasing scrutiny from taxpayers, need to be able to justify the commitment of increasingly scarce Government resources as good value for money for their city, region and country.
“That is why the Games Value Framework is so important because it clearly defines, in more detail than has ever been done before, the benefits and costs of hosting the Commonwealth Games, while articulating how these should be assessed.
“The report collates the existing evidence from recent Commonwealth Games, draws out critical success factors and guides prospective host cities on how to assess the anticipated costs and benefits of hosting the Games aligned with the Commonwealth Sport Movement’s vision to create peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities.
“Aligned to our new Games delivery model to drive down operating costs by delivering the Games more efficiently, we feel there is now a clear blueprint outlining how our event can be used as a real catalyst for regeneration following the difficult situation we are collectively facing.”
The report claims Gold Coast 2018 had the biggest economic impact with a boost of £1.2 billion ($1.4 billion/€1.3 billion), followed by £1.1 billion ($1.3 billion/€1.2 billion) for Manchester 2002, £1 billion ($1.2 billion/€1.1 billion) for Melbourne 2006 and £800 million ($980 million/€897 million) for Glasgow 2014.
Between 13,600 and 23,000 full-time equivalent years of employment before, during and after the competition were outlined as being created by the Games, while tourism was claimed to have increased by 25 per cent in the three years after hosting the event.
Commonwealth trade deals and investments were also outlined as having contributed up to £400 million ($490 million/€448 million) into the host city.
Grevemberg added that the report highlights how the Games can be used to fit host city aims, with Manchester 2002, Glasgow 2014 and the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games viewed as key to the regeneration of certain areas.
The CGF chief executive suggested Manchester 2002 set the standard for how the Games could provide a stimulus to help regenerate an area.
The report outlines that the Games served as a catalyst for the regeneration and transformation of areas across the city and wider region, such as the reclamation of a 146-hectare site in the east of Manchester which had been derelict.
Investment in sports, leisure and entertainment facilities was claimed to have created many thousands of jobs, while millions of pounds was reportedly invested into new homes and communities.
Similarly, Glasgow 2014 was viewed as having achieved the aim of regenerating the East End of the city and accelerating planned transport improvements.
The showcase provided by the Games was also highlighted, with Manchester considered to have emerged as England’s second city, while Glasgow has since secured hosting rights to further major sporting events.
The CGF also said the report highlights how the Games can provide social benefits, including fostering community pride and adopting positive behaviour, as well as promoting reconciliation, human rights, diversity and accessibility.
The report also aims to outline ways future hosts can potentially maximise opportunities of hosting the Games depending on their local context and ambitions, with clear legacy plans outlined from the outset and accountability processes in place to ensure the aims are met.
Suggestions to minimise potential costs are also included, such as aligning the delivery of the Games with existing investments and initiatives in the host city, as well as drawing clear responsibilities among stakeholders.
The Commonwealth Games Federation recently awarded the hosting of the 2022 Games to Durban, South Africa. This will be the first time the Games are hosted in the African continent. The paper looks into whether tangible benefits for hosting mega-events are less or more important than intangible benefits.
The Commonwealth Games will never be the same again after Birmingham 2022.