By N. Romoff
In the Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Leopkey, Mutter, and Parent (2010) offer a broad comparative analysis between Canada and Switzerland, and their varying approaches to hosting sporting events. While the article does not formulate a conclusion, it does offer valuable insight into the stark differences between the two nations.
The analysis is undertaken both horizontally (within the country), and vertically (transnationally). It outlines event-hosting policies (or lack thereof) at the national level, along with funding issues, and operations at the municipal level.
Canada has quite rigid policies in place, and by doing so, has begun the fostering of accompanying legislation. The policies act as a checks-and-balances system, enforcing the adherence to certain guidelines to maintain the desired level of excellence hosting sporting events. Canada too holds much pride hosting sporting events of all levels, as seen with the wide variety of events hosted throughout the country, culminating in a very successful Vancouver Olympics in 2010. With said policy-based rigidity, comes the freedom of having no discernable budget. This system is flipped entirely by the Swiss.
Conversely, Switzerland does not hold any legislation or national policies when it comes to event hosting as a whole. They then, have the opportunity to operate freely, and host as they see fit (within their set parameters of mega-events of course). The Swiss feel compelled to host said mega-events, as they pride themselves on doing so; this can be seen by way of the self-titled “Olympic City” of Lausanne. Their lack of official policies however, see the seemingly requisite structure and feedback through their rigid budget. An allotment is given towards events, and when said allotment is consumed, one must reapply for more funds. This ultimately replaces policies, limits, and quotas seen in Canada.
Overall, the Canadian and Swiss approaches to sporting-event hosting vary greatly, however they both hold themselves accountable by way of checks and balances. Whether it is in Canada where said feedback is embedded within the process by way of policies, or in Switzerland where it is done through funding, both offer enough accountability to avoid instances of disastrous event-hosting seen elsewhere.
B. Leopkey, O. Mutter & M.M. Parent (2010): Barriers and facilitators when hosting sporting events: exploring the Canadian and Swiss sport event hosting policies, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 2:2, 113-134
The following is a short poem outlining an interpretive analysis, with accompanying discussion topics, and subsequent interesting questions raised:
Winter, summer, spring, fall,
There is no break in the year for sports,
Some care to host, some not at all,
Just please ignore the feasibility reports.
Is it policy or quotas that drive success,
Canada and Swiss must be compared,
Mindset; whenever possible, create a mess,
Bidding process inherently impaired.
Transcending level, all be welcome,
Canada hosts with open arms,
No Budget, but legislation in place,
Fostering excellence, turn minor sports into farms.
An event one can’t miss, hosted by the Swiss,
The home of the torch , Olympic Village by name,
Reapply for more funds, on our soil they’ll run,
Can we exist without it, or is it our claim to fame.
Feedback must be constant, there is no doubt,
Should it be ongoing, or embedded for clout,
The swiss do the former, the latter the ‘nuck,
Must we remember, some always run it amok.
Are there answers? Does anyone know?
The fact remains that dollar figures continue to grow.
Man is golf; drawn to the green at all costs. Hope lies in those not keeping score.
Insert instructions for perfect event-hosting paradigm here