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Glasgow Commonwealth Games Case Study

by Daniyal


The commonwealth games are games that take place after every four years. The games began in 1930 in Canada and have since been a major sporting event in the world. The games originally were meant for countries which were under British colonies and were branded the British Empire Games (Harold, 1989). This name was later changed in 1950 after it occurred that the name showed some incidences of colonialism (Black D, 2010). The games attract so many disciplines hence always held in summer and winter of every sporting year. The games are under control of the Commonwealth Games Federation CGF). Currently 71 nations compete in these games accounting for 30$% of the world’s population as members of the commonwealth games. However, the names have played a major role in promoting intercultural peace and trade between many nations.

Glasgow Commonwealth Games Case Study

Glasgow Bid

(a) Hosting such international events like the Olympics and World Cup and Commonwealth games has never been an easy thing. It requires a rigorous bidding process which must be supported by economic background and resources. Before a company or a country is allowed to host such events, there must be clear policies about safety and good economic foundations that will ensure that the sports are held successfully without any misfortunes(Tucker M, 2008).

Glasgow City bid involved various stakeholders. The internal stakeholders included the Scottish Government, Glasgow city council, Scottish Commonwealth Federation, Advocates, businesses and citizens. The main aim of involving the Scottish government was to access funds (Foley, 2012). This is because this is a rigorous activity which requires a lot of funding not only from the government but also from business institutions and citizens as well (Buchanon & Mallon, 2006). The Scottish government also provided economic support for the bidding process in addition to the support from local authority and the sponsors. The citizens also played a role in contributing for the event financially. Other stakeholders like the Commonwealth Games Scotland that control sporting events in the country were also involved in coordinating the sports grounds, coaches, trainers, and good environments for the playing grounds. The Scottish City council stakeholders played the role of ensuring that the city will provide a well-organized venue for the competitions with enough food security, plenty of tourism sites and security of the participants. In addition to this, the surety that the City would deliver the sporting facilities like the playing grounds, stadiums, coaches, referees, trainers, security and the rest in time before the games began was also an important factor that contributed to Glasgow winning the bid. Moreover, the City won the bid due to its good background of hosting important sporting events such as EUFA Champion league finals severally (Golden, 2009). Moreover, the large number of tourists destination provided by the city council also ensured that Glasgow won the bid. The citizens and sponsors also played a big role in ensuring that the bid was not lost. Private stakeholders and entrepreneurs affirmed their need to support the event both socially and economically (Roche, 2000). The enthusiasm and support by the local citizens was a positive attitude to convince the world that Glasgow city was ready to host the world event. The advocates were also involved as stakeholders and they played a major role of supporting the games through testimony, volunteering as well as creating the public awareness and support. The bidding support ratio was 80:20 with the Scottish government picking the larger share. However it was positive to see the taxpayers contributing 20% of their personal investments in the bid. Commonwealth Games Federation was also responsible for ensuring that the required standards are met and that the requirements are all available.

(b) Glasgow in itself is an old city and we trace its origin back in the 12th century(Slack, 2004). The city has transformed itself from a poor city to a more beautiful city and as a tourist destination. Glasgow tourism strategy 2016 provides the city’s outline and ambitious plan for the decade long development of Scotland’s tourist industry. According to this strategy, the city expects 4 million visitors every year before 2016. This is in accordance with global projections which estimate a growth by 4% every year in the tourism sector. Economically, this would prove advantageous as the city will earn averagely £ 1 billion every year. With all this projections it is now evident that the win for the bid is in line with its tourism strategy. This is because the event is likely to bring millions of people from all over the world to participate in the event in one way or the other. It is important to understand that a country with good tourist destination has high chances of hosting some of the world’s major sporting events. It is argued that besides sporting, there is need to promote cultural interaction and economic development (Tomlinson, 2005). Apart from gaining economically in sports, the host nation is also supposed to earn from tourism. This was one factor that ensured Glasgow city won the bid. The city hosted the 1988 Garden Festival and won the European City of Culture (ECoC) title in 1990 (Weiler, 2004). In addition to this the City also boasts of Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and a Gallery of modern art which was opened in 1996. The gallery of modern art now holds the title of UK City of Architecture and Design. All this fit in the city’s strategy and the games will only help in emphasizing more on cultural value and promote tourism. Glasgow city also boasts of hosting the UEFA Champions League Final in 2002 one of the most prestigious soccer event in the world  (Glanville, 2012). Moreover, the city collected their European Capital of Sport title in 2003 something that made them host the UEFA Cup Final in 2007 (Woods, 2007).. Besides the good sporting reputation the tourism industry in the city has been rebranding itself. Major brands like ‘Glasgow Scotland with Style’ and ‘safe pair of hand’ have been key in ensuring that the country host major sporting and cultural events. Besides this, the long term strategies such as infrastructure investment, civic engagement and unwavering belief has helped the country to attract many tourists in the city. All these are important in ensuring that the country promotes its tourism industry and this fits with the strategy of Glasgow city. Besides this, the good geographical location and the peace and political stability of the country have constantly attracted investors in the tourism and hotel industry hence encouraging a booming business in the tourism industry. Political leaders in the country also showed their support for the bid exaggerated the desire for the country to host their first commonwealth games since its inception in 1930 in Canada (Young, 2004).

(c) By January 2014 no country had shown any interest in hosting the 2022 Commonwealth games since the Commonwealth Games Federation had not received any bid from any interested country. The results to this ironic situation are due to the most of the disadvantages that surround hosting of such major events.

Hosting such an international event has always been reported with a lot of challenges. A good example is the case of Brazil which is hosting the 2014 world cup championships. The country has faced a lot of rejection from the citizens which resulted in riots. Besides financial constraints, other factors like cultural values, geographical location, environmental factors like the weather, security and political factors affect the priority to host such international events (Simson & Jennings, 1992). Hosting such games has short economic gains since they only last for a month or two despite preparing them for almost 4 years. This is the reasoning why much of the countries are discouraged when it comes to bidding for commonwealth games. Ironically, most people will bid for the Olympics and FIFA world cup games. The question is why?  It is believed that hosting the commonwealth is more expensive than any other sporting event in the world hence the fear. Moreover, there have been disputes between Commonwealth Games Federation board and member states something that is also discouraging member states from bidding. When the 2010 World Cup was held by South Africa, there was a cultural issue which demanded that the vuvuzela be banned from the stadiums. However, it was argued that the vuvuzelas were part of African cultural expressions hence their involvement. Most countries that have hosted such big cultural and sporting events have faced a lot of side effects (Preuss & García, 2012). One of the major constraints is the economic factor. Most of the country’s revenue is always averted to the establishment of facilities which will be used to host the events. Moreover, factors like the weather have also affected bidding policies. Recently, there have been criticisms about the ability to host the next world cup 2018 in Qatar in summer due to the high temperatures in that country at such a time.  Such reasons have forced the country to engage in research and development that has led the country to come up with stadiums which can regulate their temperatures and make them chilly when temperatures are too high. Cultural factors like language and the need for supremacy also affected the case of Korea Japan Olympic games. There was a heated debate on which name was to begin. Initially, the event was to be named Japan Korea but this was later changed to Korea Japan. These are just but a few examples of the challenges that come with hosting and bidding for such events. However, on the positive side, countries which succeed to host such events successfully always reap high economic returns.

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