But, beyond its successful delivery and opportunity to increase one’s global reputation, hosting the event also gives the chance to achieve some more parochial objectives. These often relate to infrastructure projects that address some long-standing urban challenges: deindustrialisation and economic growth, housing supply or traffic congestion. The fact that new facilities and infrastructure must be designed, built and open for business by the time of the Games brings a focus to planning and financial commitments that might otherwise be lacking. There may have been talk of new metro-rail systems or stadia for years, but in our case, whatever is planned and committed to must be ready by the last week of July 2032.
It is sometimes said that winning the right to host a major sporting event has three possible impacts on investment in facilities and other infrastructure: it secures investment that might not otherwise have occurred at all; it brings it forward in time to meet the deadlines mentioned above; and it enlarges or amplifies investment commitments already made.
Of course, all of this investment occurs in particular places and presents opportunities for place-making and place enhancement. In some cases, these enhancements will be very localised: a stadium might be rebuilt and served by a new metro-station, creating a new destination, accessible by public transport and a substantially improved public realm. In others, a cluster of facilities might be built, again served by improved public transport that helps create a precinct with a new identity and significance within the city as a whole.