Tuesday, 25 October 2011

It is over - now let the fun begin!

Well, the tournament is now officially in the history books. The records will show that New Zealand won their second Rugby World Cup with an 8-7 victory over France in the Final. Two days later, and we are already hearing some very interesting noises regarding the 'impact' of the tournament on the host country. I link to a couple of such pieces below.

Firstly, from the President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, in Stuff:

"Whether it would be useful for the country, only you can determine, it is not to the IOC to tell that.
"But it is a possibility. Finland organised the Olympic Games with a population of 5 million, Norway has hosted a Winter Olympic Games ... with the same population as New Zealand."
Evidently this country has shown itself to be a more than capable host. From what I have seen in the past month or so, we have done exactly that. What interests me more, however, is the next line in the story...

Rogge says a host city for an Olympics doesn't have to fund the entire tournament, like New Zealand has done for the Rugby World Cup. The IOC is providing half of the $5 billion it is costing for London to hold next year's Olympics, with that money coming from sponsorship.
Now there's an idea! This might just have made some inroads into the $39m loss the tournament has incurred. Still, some have said that this might be a pipe-dream - although if it came to fruition, we are much more likely to see this tournament on our shores again at some stage in the future.

Apparently the loss might just be big enough to stomach, according to the tournament organisers and RWC Minister, Murray McCully (and, I suspect, former RWC Minister Trevor Mallard).

I have said this before, and I will continue to say it: It is too early to tell just what the actual impact of the tournament has been. I fancy an ex-post empirical analysis of host city GDP will tell us a bit. For me, this becomes a little more likely by the end of the year, if not early 2012. Until then I will maintain the time-honoured tradition of sports economists when evaluating economic impact analysis projections - shift the decimal place one point to the left - for my prediction of the actual economic impact.

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