The Spectators’ Perspective

Authored by: Guillaume Bodet

Routledge Handbook of Sports Event Management

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415858649
eBook ISBN: 9780203798386
Adobe ISBN: 9781135104306


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It is often said that without sport spectators, sports events could not happen. This statement, which is largely but not entirely true, is based on an economic view and highlights the importance of spectators in generating financial income to organise and sustain the existence of sports events. This typically concerns the economic model of professional sports, whether they are leagues, tournaments, franchises or clubs. However, it does not concern all sports and does not concern low-profile, minority, amateur and semi-amateur sports. For these sports events, spectators, whether they are actively targeted or not by organisers, represent an added value but are not core in the organisation of the sports event. Actually, the sports event will happen whether or not there are spectators. From a sporting perspective, the statement could even be generalised to all sports events: would games, tournaments or leagues be cancelled because of a lack of spectators? Probably not, even if there would certainly be serious consequences upon their sustainability, in particular for professional entities.

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