Help sporting events boost local businesses – claim

Local contractors key to boosting economic benefits of major sporting events, says new research.

Major international sporting events could deliver enhanced benefits for residents if local contractors are chosen to carry out work such as construction, new research from Birmingham City University has found.

A new study examining the impact ‘mega events’ have on their local economies and residents, found that the events brought with them economic, social and cultural benefits as well as employment opportunities, long term infrastructure and enhanced international profile. It also revealed that using local contractors during the event planning and construction could help drive down the prices of larger corporations and provide much needed investment directly into the local and regional economies.

Mega events are categorised as those which have been developed primarily to enhance the awareness, appeal and profitability of a tourism destination including motorsports such as Formula 1 and athletics events like the Commonwealth Games.

The study assessed dozens of pieces of work written around mega events, with a particular focus on F1. Research analysed the planning, delivery and legacy of the event and looked at how the benefits associated could be maximised.

Richard Chamberlain (pictured), who read Quantity Surveying at Birmingham City University, led the research. He said: “The main objective for writing the paper was to delve into the intricacies and technicalities of organising and managing mega events.

“We were able to prescribe relevant and effective mitigation strategies that could be applied to mega events not just solely to F1 GP’s. Such work could equally apply to the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.”

The research also identified the six major complexity factors facing sporting events:

· Structures and infrastructure;

· Track and civil installation;

· Event facilities and amenities;

· Power/communications/lighting;

· Health and safety;

· Miscellaneous.

Speaking about the impact local contractors could have on boosting the economic outputs of mega-events, David Chamberlain added: “Diversifying the workforce by including local contractors could represent a viable risk mitigation strategy and be beneficial to the local economy and stimulating further growth locally and city state wide. Encouraging global workforces to compete with local contractors, costs should be driven down to the benefit of the stakeholders without sacrificing the quality of the workforce used.”

The research also noted that events organisers would benefit from an improved matrix for measuring the long term commercial success of the event and the legacy they leave behind.

David Edwards, Professor of Plant and Machinery Management at Birmingham City University, supervised the research. He said: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with David and our colleagues – Dr Joseph Lai, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Professor Wellington Didibhuku Thwala, University of Johannesburg on this ground breaking research work.

“Having worked in various Universities over a 25 year career, it is very rare to see an undergraduate student to publish in one of the world’s highest rated academic journals. Moreover, the research offers great insight into orchestrating a major sporting event and the timing is perfect for the 2022 Commonwealth Games to be held here in Birmingham.”

“I am delighted for David and pleased that students at Birmingham City University are able to reach the pinnacle of academic achievement and success – this reflects well upon the student and colleagues who support them during their studies here – a special thank you to you all.”