The key findings of a new online survey by Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), a leading global communications agency, have revealed that the current situation and disruption in the international sports event market from coronavirus will likely lead to significant strategic adjustments for many cities.
The survey, which focused on the impact of COVID-19 on cities hosting major sporting events, was sent out to an international selection of 100 host cities and answered by those responsible for event bidding and hosting for each.
BCW released the results today, noting that the coronavirus crisis impacts budgets, strategy and hosting plans.
In terms of the budget allocated to event hosting by various levels of Governments, 78 per cent of host cities expect to suffer financial losses in 2020 due to the cancellation or postponement of sporting events in their city or region.
Forty-three per cent of cities think they will suffer from a budget cut for event hosting in 2021 and 17 per cent after 2021.
In terms of impact on overall hosting strategy, there seems to be a possible shift to focus more on national events, taking away focus from hosting future international events.
Thirty-seven per cent of the cities said that it is likely that they will host fewer international events in the future, while 17 per cent said that they will likely host more national events as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Eighty-four per cent of the cities estimate that the coronavirus situation will have a strong impact on their event hosting plans in 2020, but at the same time 58 per cent think that the impact in 2021 will only be modest.
"We wanted to get a first look of how experienced host cities view the disruption caused by the COVID-19 situation so that we can provide smart counsel to our clients, including both rights holders and hosts," Lars Haue-Pedersen, BCW's sports practice managing director, said.
"The results confirm our presumption that the current disruption in the international event market can have serious implications for both rights holders, like the International Federations, and their host city partners.
"For quite some time, both sides have been accustomed to stable long-term planning, ensuring that everything is in place several years ahead.
"With COVID-19, this stability has been challenged, and strategies likely need to be re-worked and contingencies put in place."
The survey was conducted over a one-week period from March 23 to 29.
To download the survey report, click here.
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