Nevertheless, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics changed the economics of major sports events. These games made a surplus of 215 million. The financial success of the Los Angeles Olympics changed the way cities and governments regarded the hosting of major sports events. Partly as a result of this, but also because there developed a greater understanding of the broader economic benefits to a city and country that could result from the staging of a major sports event, cities started to compete fiercely to host major World and European championships across a wide range of sports.
This article mainly reports the certainties that events can have a positive impact on the economy and community of the host city or country. Several extents are based on actual findings from studies of hosting countries of major events in order to thoroughly support the events' impact.
The appeal of events, more so with major events such as the Olympic Games, is their ability to attract those whose viewing is light and never entails sport. Sports Business illustrates that families with an income of at least $60,000 were 41 per cent more likely to watch the Atlanta Games, i.e. those families with a higher expendable income, which is precisely why sponsoring companies are prepared to invest large sums of money in the event (no. 4). As compared to 1995, Adidas experienced a 56 per cent rise in profits in 1996, the year of Atlanta Olympics. As a sponsoring company they were fortunate to have more than 200 Olympic medals won by Adidas-equipped athletes (Sports Business, no. 4). It is consequently clear that it is in the interests of these sponsoring companies that their particular athletes arrive on time and that there preparation is not disrupted.
Major events have enormous value to cities, countries, athletes and sponsors alike. Numerous studies supported the economic impact of events around the world (Yardley et al., 1990; Frisby and Getz, 1988; Mules and Faulkner, 1996; Crompton, 1995; Turco and Kelsy, 1992; Dobson, Holliday and Gratton, 1997). Delivering the right product is important and often ultimately upon which the event is judged. The media will judge the event in terms of an increase in sales or viewing/ listening figures. Sponsors examine the event in the light of the increase in sales before, during, and immediately after the period of the event, while the civic leaders will attempt to appraise the event in terms of the increased exposure of their city as a result of the event and the subsequent economic impact associated with the influx of visitors before, during and after the event (Elvin and Emery, 1997).
It is essential for cities and countries to get the organisation right for the reason that people have a tendency to remember the things that go wrong. Due to the high profile of the Olympics (Atlanta having a gross audience of 19.6 billion viewers [Sports Business, no. 4]), any undesirable publicity has an immediate and enormous impact throughout the world.
Impact of Major Events on the Economy of the Host Country
In the 1980s, the study of hallmark events or mega-events became a significant area of the tourism and leisure literature. The economic benefits of such events have been the main focus of such literature, even though broader based multidisciplinary approaches have been suggested (Hall, 1992; Getz, 1991). Within the area of mega-events, sports events have