TORONTO, June 9, 2011 — According to a new report from PwC, investing in infrastructure required for mega-events like the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup™ can accelerate economic development in some host countries and regions by as much as three decades.
An economic and social impact report by PwC a year after the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, showed Games-related venue construction estimated at more than $1.22 billion, not including the new Vancouver Convention Centre, Canada Line rapid transit project, or the Sea-to-Sky Highway expansion between Vancouver and Whistler. Incremental employment from Games-related activities was estimated at 45,500 person years of employment in BC and Canada. As Toronto gears up to host the Pan Am Games in 2015, some are wondering if these games will result in similar benefits in Ontario.
“Similar to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, hosting the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games in Toronto will help improve infrastructure in the GTA region and could be a stepping stone for Toronto to host a sporting event like the Olympics in the future,” says Ron Bidulka, managing director in PwC’s Deals and Corporate Finance practice.
According to the report, success in hosting a mega-event is partly determined by the supporting infrastructure required for both athletes and spectators. Bid winners often begin planning far ahead of the actual event, often a decade or more in advance, allowing the host cities and regions to start realizing positive benefits prior to the actual event taking place. For instance, planning for the 2015 Pan Am games began in 2007, some eight years ahead of the event. The 2015 Games will include a multi-billion dollar investment in the GTA and Hamilton for new sports venues and facility upgrades, including the athlete’s village, the Pan Am stadium, velodrome, aquatics centre, field house, and Canadian Sport Institute complex.
“When a city plans ahead for the infrastructure required for sporting events like the Olympics and the Pan Am Games, the results are transformative," says Bidulka. “Advance planning in this case includes anticipating and planning for the legacy effects that can improve residents’ quality of life and enhance the region’s business competitiveness, resulting in long-term economic gain.”
Notable mega-event statistics from around the world include:
Hosting the 2010 Olympics has brought the benefits of key legacy public infrastructure to British Columbia. There are 13 venues designed for long-term multi-purpose community use, and eight multi-purpose sport venues. These include the Richmond Olympic Oval, Hillcrest Park Olympic Centre, Whistler Sliding Centre, and Whistler Nordic Centre (Callaghan Valley).
While not directly part of the 2010 Olympics, the Games did serve as a catalyst for the Canada Line rapid transit which connects downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver International Airport and Richmond, completed as a Public Private Partnership (PPP); the Sea to Sky Highway improvement project between Vancouver and Whistler, procured as a PPP; as well as the new Vancouver Convention Centre. An estimated 1,546 new hotel rooms were opened in Metro Vancouver in anticipation of the 2010 Games.
PwC found that a city or region needs to excel in certain dimensions to capture the attention of the world stage including: quality services to residents and businesses, sustainable development and visionary leadership.
“Canada is well known as a safe, clean and liveable country and many of our cities have been supported by all levels of government in their bids to host major sporting events and the related infrastructure investments. This demonstrates Canada’s leadership in accelerating the economic growth of our communities and to expanding the relationships between local and international businesses,” says Bidulka.
To read the full report Game on: Mega-event infrastructure opportunities, please visit http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/capital-projects-infrastructure/publications/mega-events.jhtml.
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