New Brock research measures impact of sporting events on Niagara

How do you measure the impact of a sporting event?

The usual way is to concentrate on the economics: calculate the event’s direct and indirect costs and revenues for the site and surrounding community.

But new Brock University research calls that view too limiting and instead encourages a “triple bottom-line approach” when assessing a sport event’s impact on a community.

The latest policy brief by the Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) assesses not only the financial impact of large and small sporting events on the region, but an expanded way of calculating overall value, as well.

“There’s growing debate about what the true impact of a sport event, especially a large-scale sport event, can have on a community,” says Julie Stevens, co-author of the brief and director of Brock’s Centre for Sport Capacity, which partnered with the NCO to produce the brief.

“I would say it falls within two categories: one is the traditional assessment that estimates economic activity generated by the event,” she says. “The second is a new, comprehensive approach that captures economic, social and environmental impact as perceived by event attendees and community members.”

The Centre for Sport Capacity and the NCO will be launching the policy brief Wednesday, Feb. 7 at an event that will include a panel discussion with the brief authors, along with Sue MorinBusiness Development Manager, Venture Niagara, and early promoter of the Welland Sport Tourism Alliance, and Niagara Regional Councillor Tim Rigby, Co-chair of the 2015 PanAm Games rowing competition and Co-chair of the 1999 World Rowing Championships.

“This brief is a conversation starter,” says NCO Director Charles Conteh. “It is about re-thinking our measurement of the impact of sport. It’s a paradigm shift; we’re going to challenge and shift how we understand, appreciate, measure and evaluate the impact of sport in our community.”

What: Launch of policy brief “More than Money: Leveraging the Benefits of Sport Hosting in Niagara”

When: Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Room 207, Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, Brock University

Who: Julie Stevens, Director, Centre for Sport Capacity and brief co-author; Chris Charlebois, master’s student and brief co-author; Charles Conteh, Director, Niagara Community Observatory

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