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Issue Report

Collection of full-length papers and in-depth analysis of economic and management issues.

Korea as a Sports Host

Korea as a Sports Host

HAN Chang-Soo

Aug. 3, 2007

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In March 2007, Daegu won the right to host the 2011 World Athletics Championships, making Korea the seventh country to hold the world’s three major sports events ? the Olympics, the World Cup Finals and the World Athletics Championships. Even the US, Russia and China have yet to host all three major events.

Hosting international sports events can elevate the economy and national image of host nations, as well as their sports industry. The benefits are reaped before, during and after an event. Investment in infrastructure and facilities to prepare for the event stimulates jobs and income. The event itself brings in a flood of visitors. Afterwards, the economy benefits from infrastructure improvements made for the event. The raised international profile and reputation can increase tourism. Busan, for example, gained a reputation as a more international city after successfully hosting the 2002 Asian Games. In short, international sports events can be a catalyst for “globalization” of the host country and city.

Sports events also enhance national confidence. Simply preparing and hosting a global sports event such as the Olympics is a Herculean feat that requires national commitment. If the host country does well on the field, it is added bonus. When Korea placed fourth in gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics and reached the Final Four in the 2002 World Cup, the nation experienced a renewed sense of achievement.

Furthermore, holding sports events can help improve the quality of people’s lives by encouraging the spread of daily sports activities and the adoption of a healthy leisure culture.

The task facing Korea’s sports community is to move beyond focusing on international sports events such as the Olympics and establish a regular international sports event such as the Wimbledon tennis tournament, which would surely be a difficult task. In doing so, Korea would be able to benefit from the positive economic and social spillover that a dynamic sports industry has to offer. In addition, Korea needs to establish the industrial base on which international sports-related businesses can thrive.

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