Economic impact studies are important, but they don’t tell the whole story of how major sporting events impact their host communities.
A Brock University Sport Management master’s student is collecting data this week at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines that will be used to examine what economic, environmental and social impact the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts had.
“A lot of major games focus on just the economic impact data, but I think this gives organizers a bit of a different view of the local community and what the overall impact is,” said Chris Charlebois (BSM ‘11). “I think this is potentially the start of a new trend.”
Charlebois has a table set up on the concourse level of the Meridian Centre where curling spectators can use iPads to answer a survey about their perceptions of the impact of the overall event.
“It’s all psychographics and behavioural data of what they think of the event rather than just straight economic data,” he said.
So far the effort has netted around 100 respondents ranging from local fans to those who have travelled across the country to cheer on their respective provincial champions.
“We’re trying to do an analysis of which type of demographics have different perceptions of the overall impact on the community,” said Charlebois.
A partnership with Curling Canada on the research project allowed him to run the survey at the Scotties event in exchange for the master’s student providing the organization with an initial round of data once the championship has wrapped up.
From there, he’ll examine the data collected to put together his master’s thesis this summer.
Charlebois is available for interviews during the Scotties tournament.