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economic dividend for the nation.
And that is precisely what Mills
predicted in 2012 as his firm tested the
sentiment of New Zealanders towards
the sporting festival. Its survey of around
1,000 people showed that 61% of home-
grown respondents believed that hosting
the tournament would have a positive
effect on the economy, while 65% of
business owners thought it would create
more opportunities for local enterprises.
How much the rugby showcase
contributed has to New Zealand’s strong
economic performance (gross domestic
product grew 3.5% in the year to June 2014)
is hard to measure but it appears the 2011
sports spectacular has helped build the
country’s international profile.
As former New Zealand Test cricketer
and Rugby New Zealand 2011 chief
executive Martin Snedden said, the
showcase was a “pretty good investment”
despite a smallish operating loss.
New stadiums were built in New
Plymouth and Dunedin and even the
small nations of Oceania benefited.
That’s because the International Rugby
Board and the New Zealand Rugby Union
agreed to disperse the benefits of the
is an experienced financial journalist and author. He
is a senior adviser with Newgate Communications.
event. Much of the training equipment –
including scrum machines, tackle bags,
tackle suits and post pads used by the
20 participating teams were distributed
across the 13-strong Federation of
Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU).
Hopefully this will help teams like Fiji,
Samoa and Tonga as they take on the might
of the All Blacks, the Springboks, Wallabies,
Ireland and England at this year’s spectacle
Meanwhile the costs of staging the
Rugby World Cup are reasonably small
compared to the massive infrastructure
required by Brazil to stage one of the
world’s true mega events, the FIFA
Staged over one tumultuous month from
12 June to 13 July 2014 this extraordinarily
popular event attracted around 1 million
foreign fans and was watched by hundreds
of millions of television viewers around
the world. The Germany vs Argentina final
drew a record US audience of 26.5 million
while a record 34.5 million in Germany
cheered on their home-town heroes.
But while the month-long FIFA
World Cup was responsible for 3 billion
interactions on Facebook and 672 million
messages on Twitter, serious questions
have been raised about the legacy for a
country that remains in the economic
doldrums with growth forecast at just 1.8%
for 2014, against an OECD average of 2.2%.
So what will be the legacy for Brazil?
It’s probably too early to tell. The country
will stage the next summer Olympics, in
two years time. That will help to offset
some of the massive costs of staging
the FIFA mega event in a country that is
trying to take its place among the first-
tier nations of the world.
Still, despite the mass protest rallies,
multiple deaths of construction workers
as stadiums were hastily built, the
alleged corruption and payoffs, the
people of Brazil seem to have ultimately
backed the decision to invest so much
money in staging FIFA 2014.
Despite the home team’s inglorious exit
from the World Cup, Dilma Rousseff was
re-elected in October for a second term as
the nation’s president. Her legacy, it seems,
is now writ in stone stadiums.
Fourteen years on the Sydney Olympic
Park venues continue to attract strong
crowds and continue to be developed.
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