Major sporting events
Hosting global sporting events can have a transformative effect upon the areas directly involved. The legacy project after the 2012 Olympics has set the blueprint for this and we expect any future tournaments hosted in the UK to be similarly beneficial.
With 2040 being an Olympic year, 28 years after the London Olympics, it is possible that the UK could once again host the Games. Whilst it would be feasible for London to host the Olympics for the fourth time (1908, 1948 and 2012), the 2040 Olympics is more likely to be held outside of the Capital, with Manchester the most likely candidate. Regional cities have bid to host the Olympics in the past, with Birmingham in 1992 and Manchester in 1996 and 2000.
An Olympic Games held in one of these big cities in 2040, using the blueprint of London 2012, would provide a transformative legacy with the potential to regenerate parts of these cities. The evidence from London 2012 also suggests that there are immediate economic benefits to hosting the Games through increased consumer spending and economic activity in general. For example, the 590,000 people who visited London for the Olympics specifically spent an average of £1,290 during their visit compared with £650 by other visitors at the time.
Figure 1: Estimated number of visits to the UK on which main purpose for visit was Olympics-based
It is not just a UK Olympics that could happen before 2040. The UK seems likely to host the Commonwealth Games at least once more before 2040 (Birmingham will host the 2022 edition), and almost certainly the Rugby and Cricket World Cups.
The UK Government is currently considering a bid for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to jointly host the 2030 FIFA World Cup. Whilst the details of the bid are yet to be revealed, it is likely to involve the construction of a new stadium, as well as substantial refurbishment of others, as was the case with England’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2018 tournament. Should the British bid for the 2030 World Cup be successful, it would be the first football tournament to be held in the UK since the 1996 European Championships. Many of the improvements put in place to host Euro 96 are still visible at football grounds in England. It is therefore likely that the benefits of hosting the 2030 World Cup will still be in place by 2040.
The best examples of new stadiums globally are multi-use venues which are year-round destinations for the cities in which they are based. The World Cup in 2030 will be an excellent catalyst for this type of new development.