All over the world, sport events are seen as significant tools for creating positive social impact. This is understandable, as sport events have the power to attract enthusiastic participants, volunteers and to reach large audiences of visitors and followers via (social) media. Outbursts of excitement, pleasure and feelings of camaraderie are experienced among millions of people in the case of mega events. Still, a fairly large section of the population does not care that much for sports. Some may experience road blocks, litter and noise disturbance from the events. Sport events generally require investments, often from local or national authorities. Concerned citizens rightfully point at alternative usage of public money (e.g. schools, health care). Thrills and excitement are good things, but does that warrant public money being spent on? Or is there a broader social significance of sport events? Can sport events help alleviate societal issues (like cohesion, inequality and non-participation), do they generate a social impact beyond what spectators experience during the event? In this report the authors have aimed to describe the state of play as regards the evidence for the occurrence of a social impact from sport events and the strategies that are required to enhance social impact from sport events. For the report, an extensive scan of the literature was performed and input was collected from a key group of international experts.
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