The impact of the World Student Games on Sheffield
Criticism of major events is not unusual. This criticism is often based more on a consideration of costs than on a balanced evaluation of the costs and benefits which a major event may provide. Opinions on the economic desirability of a major event often appear to be based on personal and political convictions rather than on a careful appraisal of the economic merits of an event. Obviously economic factors should not be the sole determinant of any decision to host or support a major event but careful economic analysis of these events could provide useful information for public debate. Many people have speculated about the impact which the World Student Games, to be held in Sheffield in July 1991, will have on the city. Key issues concerning the costs and benefits for Sheffield arising from the £173.8 million expected to be spent on the games are presented in this paper. Figures provided by Sheffield City Council, supported by studies completed at Sheffield University, suggest the games will directly create approximately 1980 jobs; 1650 in constructing facilities for the games and approximately 329 in management and administration. In total it is estimated the games will provide 6580 jobs in Sheffield and 11 070 jobs in the Yorkshire and Humberside region (the regional figure includes local job creation). Local (Sheffield) job-generation costs for the games are approximately £24 780 per job. This compares favourably with job-creation costs of £28 760 which have been estimated for other construction-oriented initiatives in the United Kingdom. It must be remembered that, although the World Student Games are a one-off major event, Sheffield residents will have some of the best sporting facilities in Europe when the games are over. The promotion of the facilities to host other major sporting events is already under way.
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