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The social impact of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games: comparison of residents' pre- and post-event perceptions

Tiago Ribeiro (Augusto Motta University Centre, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)
Abel Correia (Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)
Rui Biscaia (School of Marketing and Management, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 11 September 2020

Issue publication date: 30 April 2021




Despite the recognition that citizens' perceptions of mega sport events' social impact is critical for the sustainable development of these events and host cities, most previous studies have not taken into consideration how these perceptions may change over time. This study examines citizens' social impact perceptions of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games before and after the event.


Data were collected amongst local residents of Rio de Janeiro pre- and post-event (n = 256). A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) analysed the psychometric properties of the proposed social impact constructs. Subsequently, a multigroup analysis and latent mean comparisons were conducted to test social impact perceptions pre- and post-event.


The multigroup CFA showed factorial stability of the social impact model in both periods, while the latent mean comparisons revealed significant differences in the dimensions of social experiences, city image and community pride enhancement, public infrastructures and social conflicts. Results indicated that the perception of positive impacts tends to increase, while perceived negative impacts decrease from pre- to post-event.

Social implications

The social effects of hosting sport mega events result in a short-term change in attitudes towards the local community, leading to a better comprehension on how communities perceive the event's impact on their lives.


In a highly complex mega event such as the Olympic Games, any change may influence residents' perceptions. The findings of this study demonstrate the importance of residents for determining support or opposition in hosting the event, allowing a better understanding of the exchange effects.



Ribeiro, T., Correia, A. and Biscaia, R. (2021), "The social impact of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games: comparison of residents' pre- and post-event perceptions", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 201-221.



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