Infrastructure repercussions of mega sports events: the relevance of demarcation procedures for impact calculations, evaluated using the case of UEFA Euro 2008

Hansruedi Müller (Professor at the Research Institute for Leisure and Tourism, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland)
Christian Moesch (Lecturer at the Institute for Sports Science, University of Bern, Switzerland)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Publication date: 11 May 2010



The aim of this paper is to develop procedures that make it possible to evaluate appropriately the economic infrastructure repercussions of a mega sports event, aiming at both theoretical and practical scientific targets. On the one hand, this involves developing exegeses while, on the other, the focus is on problem‐led structuring. To fulfil both requirements means following objective‐cum‐analytical as well as empirical strategies.


Staging mega sports events necessitates the availability of appropriate infrastructure, both for specific events and for general purposes. Investments in infrastructure triggered by mega sports events are often of considerable importance for any calculation of their economic impact. The scale of the impacts identified largely depends on the basic demarcation between event‐related and non‐event‐related investments. Developed in former literature the six models derived from procedures are used as potential demarcation approaches. Their application is shown in four case studies.


The application of the six different models to four case studies shows that event‐related investment varies considerably depending on the model selected, thus decisively influencing impact study results. The determining effect of the choice of model is illustrated by applying the case of UEFA Euro 2008. The results differ from 63.2 million CHF at the minimum to 196.4 million CHF at the maximum.

Research limitations/implications

None of the six evaluated models manages to reflect reality truthfully and totally comprehensively. However, this is due not so much to faulty theoretical design as to the fact that reality is always more complex than the model which therefore can never fully mirror it. Every model provides its own specific information and so – depending on the basic situation and the actual problem – is justified in its own right.


The paper attempts to close the gap in connection with the demarcation of event‐related investments. As the studied demarcation problem remains the same, irrespective of the type of event, the scope for applying these models goes far beyond the case studies looked at here. The models in their final form are new. The findings obtained can also be adapted to other types of events.



Müller, H. and Moesch, C. (2010), "Infrastructure repercussions of mega sports events: the relevance of demarcation procedures for impact calculations, evaluated using the case of UEFA Euro 2008", Tourism Review, Vol. 65 No. 1, pp. 37-56.

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