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Sustainable mega sport events: Oxymoron or reality?

More recently, public support for hosting the Olympic Games seems to have diminished in Europe and the United States, despite extensive campaigns with their promise of economic benefits. Boston (USA) and Hamburg (Germany), for example, withdrew their plans to host the 2024 Summer Olympics amid a lack of public support. For the same reason, the European cities of Graubünden, Krakow, Munich, Oslo and Stockholm decided not to apply for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Interestingly, an argument frequently raised by opponents is that such a hosting is unlikely to be ecologically sustainable or, even worse, harmful to the environment.
Course code
Course type
BSc Course General Studies
Weekly Hours
FS 2020
Juniorprof. Dr. Dominik Schreyer
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

Public referenda have become a frequent tool of popular sovereignty across Western democracies (Casella & Gelman, 2008). Unsurprisingly, this general trend also affects applicant cities willing to host the Olympic Games. For example, referenda have recently put an end to seven Olympic candidatures (Graubünden, Munich, and Krakow for the 2022 Olympics, Hamburg for the 2024 Olympics, Innsbruck and Graubünden again for the 2026 Olympics, and Vienna for 2028 Olympics). Additionally, Boston and Budapest canceled their candidatures for the 2024 Olympics facing both an apparent lack of public support and demands for referenda.

Potentially triggered by the recent rejections of Olympic host ambitions, researchers have begun to explore the determinants of individual citizen support for Olympic bids (e.g., Atkinson, Mourato, Szymanski, & Ozdemiroglu, 2008; Coates & Wicker, 2015; Preuss & Werkmann, 2011; Walton, Longo, & Dawson, 2008; Wicker & Coates, 2018; Wicker, Whitehead, Mason, & Johnson, 2016). Interestingly, an argument frequently raised by opponents is that such a hosting is unlikely to be (ecologically) sustainable or, even worse, harmful to the environment.

Therefore, in this course, we will assess the environmental footprint of mega sports events such as the Olympic Games. Based on this initial assessment, students will work in teams to develop a concept for sustainable mega sports events.

Date Time
Thursday, 16.01.2020 11:30 - 15:15
Wednesday, 05.02.2020 15:30 - 20:30
Thursday, 06.02.2020 08:00 - 13:00
Friday, 21.02.2020 08:00 - 18:45
Learn how to analyze corporate sustainability activities:
  • Students will learn how to effectively define and measure/assess sustainability.

Learn about the economics of mega sport events:

  • Students will gain a first understanding of key issues in the economics of mega sport events such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games.
There are no prerequisite readings. References will be announced during the first class meeting of the course at the beginning of the semester.
The course assessment is based on the quality of the group assignment and a short reflection paper:
  • Group assignment and presentation (80%)
  • Reflection paper (20%)
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