Public opinion in Olympic cities : from bidding to retrospection / Harry H. Hiller, Richard A. Wanner

Hiller, Harry H. (1942-) | Wanner, Richard A.

Whereas traditionally hosting the Olympics was viewed as a top-down decision with little public input, public opinion is becoming more important in assessing and evaluating the merits of hosting the Games. Using bid documents from 2010 to 2020, the formal role that public opinion officially plays in the bid phase following the International Olympic Committee (IOC) procedures is examined. Public opinion in the preparation stage is reviewed, which demonstrates the problem of seeking simple declarations of support (yes/no) that obfuscate important local issues (cost, traffic, urban priorities). Shifts in public opinion during the Games themselves, as well as one and four years after the Games, provide a new perspective on resident attitudes. Using retrospective data from Vancouver 2010 and London 2012, multivariate analysis demonstrates that participation in Olympic-related events (sporting and nonsporting) was the most important predictor of attitudes toward the Games and that concerns over costs were the only concerns that were justified.

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