With the opening ceremony just hours away, Rio 2016 is expected to produce a direct tourism impact of $1.47 billion, according to analysis by Sportcal, as athletes, media and spectators descend on the Brazilian city in what promises to be a festival of sport and entertainment.
But what will be the true legacy of the Games, and how will the success of Rio 2016 be judged?
Prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games, a variety of pre-event impact studies were published claiming that London 2012 was about to generate a huge financial windfall for the city and the UK, with predictions ranging from $13 billion to $40 billion over 20 years.
As Sportcal’s latest Global Sports Impact (GSI) Report 2016 shows, most major sporting events will publish anticipated economic impact figures in advance of the event.
In 2014, EY predicted economic benefits of $3.5 billion (£2.2 billion) for the UK from the hosting of the Rugby World Cup 2015 (the eventual impact was £2.4 billion). Meanwhile the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand generated an economic impact of $855 million (A$1.1 billion) for both economies, according to PwC.
In 2009, the Brazilian Ministry of Sport predicted that the long-term impact of hosting the games could be as high as $51.1 billion for the 2009–2027 period. But since that optimistic time, much has changed.
Why have there been no updated predictions from Rio 2016 or the Brazilian government?
With reported spiralling costs and the economic downturn, will the city fail to see a financial windfall from hosting the games? Or should we be judging the success of the Games using a wider set of impacts than just financial?
According to Sportcal’s analysis, the Olympic Games will generate a direct tourism impact in excess of $1.47 billion during the Games for Rio.
Beyond the direct tourism impact, GSI Report 2016 will explore the likely impacts that we will see post-Rio, and compare these to a post-event analysis on London 2012.
Four years on, did London 2012 live up to its promises? Did it deliver a lasting legacy for the city and the UK? The GSI Report 2016 explores the promises made and their outcomes.
In 2009, Rio 2016 promised that the Games would be the “Gateway to South America”, opening up a new continent for the Olympic sports, and give the world the opportunity to see that “Rio is Ready”.
In the next few weeks we will see how ready Rio is, and the impact the Olympics will have on the Brazilian people and their economy will become clearer.
Rio’s legacy is likely to be very different to London’s, but has the Games truly transformed Rio and who will benefit from this transformation?
The GSI Report 2016, due to be published in September 2016, will explore some of these questions and will review the Games asking the question “What will be the true legacy of Rio 2016?”
In addition, the report explores the impact that sport has had in the last few years. It takes an in-depth look at the major events of 2015 and considers them across a wide range of impacts: economic; tourism; media; social media; sponsorship; sporting; social and, new to the 2016 report, governance and legacy.
Packed with analysis, the report is a must-read for anyone involved in sport.