This Is Our Home
1st March 2016
When planning sports events local communities are and should be taken into consideration. This is due to the impact the preparation of the event and the event itself can have on a member of the local community. So it leads to the question, Is the event harming the local community or is it strengthening it ? Let’s find out…..
There are several impacts to be concerned about here that would need managing, so what are these impacts ?
Anti-social behaviour can be a result of alcohol consumption and drug abuse during sports events, however this is making the assumption that the two factors are related and some may argue that people behaving in an anti-social manner may not have consumed either alcohol or drugs.
Local businesses and residents are concerned about littering and vandalism; with an increase in adverse behaviour said to be one of the most serious impacts. This was the case in Brazil during the build up to the FIFA 2014 World Cup. Over 2 million Brazilian residents took to the streets to protest government spending. These protests were a result a result of an increase in transport fares, which were to cover the rising cost of the World Cup.
Research has suggested that large sports events cause disruption through noise pollution and traffic problems. Traffic problems are one of the main negative social impacts that are central to event hosting. Due to the vast number of people who drive to an event parking becomes an issue. The allotted car parks fill up immediately so attendees end up parking anywhere they find space. This becomes an issue when the space they have found is private land or blocking the driveway of a local resident.
Social exclusion is another issue that could impact the local community. Events could lead to social exclusion as a result of limited participation and restricted access to services and facilities such as stadia and public services. One of the main reasons for this is the cost of the services. This is an obvious concern in developing countries where there is a significant gap between the ‘rich and poor’.
What can be done ?
To help control the consumption of alcohol you could take the same approach as the Scottish Government and put restrictions on where alcohol is allowed to be consumed.
Ban and fine any attendees who vandalise in any way, this is a method that was employed by Celtic FC as they banned 128 of their own supporters for vandalising.
Traffic will always be a problem for local residents at any sports events because you can’t force people to not drive to an event or use public transport. One method that you should not use as it proved unsuccessful during the 2012 London Games is an ‘events only lane’. This resulted in the build up of traffic.
It’s not all ‘doom and gloom’……….
There is a positive side to hosting events.
There is a growing importance for volunteers to enhance the success of an event. It is often used to achieve economic and social objectives within a locations strategic development. Take the London 2012 Olympic games, there were 70,000 volunteers present during the games and the volunteers were described as the key to the success of the Games. This is an example of the opportunities that event hosting provide and something event managers should consider for future events.
During the 2008 Singapore F1 Grand Prix 95% of Singapore residents agreed that the event promoted the country as a tourist destination. This is particularly effective as Singapore wants to be the leading events and entertainment capital of Asia and by hosting the event it allows the promotion of wider business opportunities.
Events are often said to leave increased feeling of community pride and have potential to contribute towards community participation, creativity and well-being. The 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany is an example of an event having a positive effect as research showed that national pride in Germany increased from 71% to 78% during the event.
Why do these issues need managing?
If these issues are not managed effectively then potential hosts may outweigh the positives by the negatives and become reluctant to want to host a sporting event. Also if members from local communities feel nothing is being done then protests will become frequent.
Sources of images used:
Cbc.ca, (2016). Brazil protests show cost of hosting major sports events. [online] Available at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/brazil-protests-show-cost-of-hosting-major-sports-events-1.1358504 [Accessed 28 Feb. 2016].
Mail Online, (2013). Celtic ban 128 of their OWN fans after vandalism at Motherwell. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2520273/Celtic-ban-128-OWN-fans-vandalism-pyrotechnics-Motherwell.html [Accessed 1 Mar. 2016].