Measuring resident support and the use of referenda for hosting a Commonwealth Games in Auckland
Citation:Johnston, M. (2016, November). Measuring resident support and the use of referenda for hosting a Commonwealth Games in Auckland. Paper presented at Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3798
The use of public funds to host major sport events is a contentious issue that all major cities face. It is expensive to host a major sport event, and the benefits, or lack of, associated with hosting have been widely researched and reported (Kim, Jun, Walker & Drane, 2015; Kim & Petrick, 2005; Ochman, 2013). Therefore, the decision on whether a city should bid to host a major sport event is of critical importance for both the cities elected officials, event owners and organisers, as well as the local community. Community support is considered an essential part of planning an operating a successful event. The perceived social, economic and environmental impact of hosting a major sport event on the local community is commonly used as a method to understand community support for an event. In addition, it is becoming increasingly common for cities to hold a referendum as a method to gauge community support for a major sport event, and as a result decide if the city should submit a bid to host. Competition between major cities for hosting major sport events is becoming increasingly strong. However, Auckland is known as a desirable location to host such events, having recently hosted successfully the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and the FIFA U-20 World Cup and Cricket World Cup in 2015. The possibility of Auckland hosting a future Commonwealth Games provides an ideal context to investigate factors affecting community support for the event, and local resident interest in an eventrelated referendum. A mixed-method approach will be taken to achieve the study’s purpose. The quantitative phase of the research will be a cross-sectional study of local residents in Auckland. To make the results relevant to real world decisions, a representative sample of participants will be surveyed through the use of online market research panels. This phase would measure the perceived social, environmental and economic impact of a future Auckland Commonwealth Games. In addition, this phase would also ask local residents three key questions: 1) Should there be a referendum?, 2) Would you participate in the referendum?, 3) How would you vote in the referendum? Scales with established validity and reliability will underpin the survey. The survey will be designed so that it can be easily replicated in future years to determine if support is changing or applied to other events or stadium developments. The qualitative phase of the research will be semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders that would be involved in a bid to host the Commonwealth Games in Auckland. Interview questions will be formulated based on the results from the crosssectional study of local residents. Data from the interviews will be analysed using thematic analysis.