A 360º sustainable approach of sport events legacies

A systematic review


  • Valentina Carbonell-García University Institute Christian Youth Association, Uruguay
  • Rosario Padial-Ruz University of Granada, Spain
  • Esther Puga-González University of Granada, Spain
  • David Cabello-Manrique University of Granada, Spain http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8037-4755




Sport events, Legacies, Impacts, Leverage, Heritage, Systematic review


Researchers recognise the importance of the legacies and impacts generated by sport events, both in the host city and globally. In turn, there are many actors who participate in them, both directly and indirectly, and who are affected, both positively and negatively, by them. This research aims to identify and compile the existing scientific literature on the legacy, heritage, and related concepts, such as impact and/or leverage, of sport events. To this end, a systematic literature review was carried out, focusing the search on Web of Science, Scopus, Pub Med, and Sport Discus, where 35 articles were finally collected, in which the sum of 44 sport events were studied. It was identified that the most studied types of events were the Olympic Games and World Championships. In relation to the types of legacies, sport stands out, while in the types of impacts, sport and economic impacts stand out. It can be deduced from this research that, although there is a great deal of interest in the subject, there is still a need to go deeper into the concepts to reach a consensus on them, thus being able to achieve more solid results.


Ministerio de Educación Cultura y Deporte - Salvador de Madariaga (PRX 16/00367)


Download data is not yet available.


Aguilera-Morales, D., Martín-Páez, T., Valdivia-Rodríguez, V., Ruiz-Delgado, Á., Williams-Pinto, L., Vílchez-González, J. M., y Perales-Palacios, F. J. (2018). La enseñanza de las ciencias basada en indagación. Una revisión sistemática de la producción española. Revista de Educación, 381, 259-284. https://doi.org/10.5354/2452-5014.2021.60683

Aizawa, K., Wu, J., Inoue, Y., y Sato, M (2018). Long-term impact of the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games on sport participation: A cohort analysis. Sport Management Review, 21(1), 86-97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2017.05.001

Añó, V (2003). Organización y gestión de actividades deportivas. Barcelona: INDE publicaciones.

Añó, V., Moreno, F. C., y Camacho, D. P (2012). Impacto social de un gran evento deportivo: el Gran Premio de Europa de Fórmula 1. Cultura, Ciencia y Deporte, 7(19), 53-65. https://doi.org/10.12800/ccd.v7i19.23

Azzali, S (2017). Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: An Assessment of the 2012 London Games Legacies. City, Territory and Architecture, 4(1), 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40410-017-0066-0

Barajas, A., Coates, D., y Sanchez-Fernandez, P (2016). Beyond retrospective assessment. Sport event economic impact studies as a management tool for informing event organization. European Research on Management and Business Economics, 22(3), 124-130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iedee.2015.05.001

Bell, B., y Daniels, J (2018). Sport development in challenging times: leverage of sport events for legacy in disadvantaged communities. Managing Sport and Leisure, 23(4-6), 369-390. https://doi.org/10.1080/23750472.2018.1563497

Bob, U., y Naidoo, S (2012). Green goal: awareness of the 2010 FIFA World Cup's greening programmes and implications for environmental education. African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance, 18(Supplement 2), 93-103.

Boukas, N., Ziakas, V., & Boustras, G. (2013). Olympic legacy and cultural tourism: Exploring the facets of Athens’ olympic heritage. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 19(2), 203–228. https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2011.651735

Brittain, I., Bocarro, J., Byers, T., & Swart, K. (Eds.). (2018). Legacies and mega events: Fact or fairy tales? Oxon: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315558981

Brownill, S., Keivani, R., & Pereira, G. (2013). Olympic legacies and city development strategies in London and Rio; beyond the carnival mask? International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 5(2), 111–131. https://doi.org/10.1080/19463138.2013.840637

Butel- Ribeiro, A., y Schor, T (2017). Turismo, megaeventos esportivos e a Copa do Mundo de 2014: um olhar na/da tríplice fronteira amazônica Brasil-Peru-Colômbia. Mundo Amazónico, 8(2), 27-48. https://doi.org/10.15446/ma.v8n2.64472

Byers, T. Hayday, E., Pappous, A., (2020). A new conceptualization of mega sports event legacy delivery: Wicked problems and critical realist solution Sport Management Review. 23 171–182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2019.04.001

Carter, R. V., y Lorenc, T (2015). A qualitative study into the development of a physical activity legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games. Health promotion international, 30(3), 793-802. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dat066

Cashman, R. (1998). Olympic legacy in an olympic city: Monuments, museums and memory. Paper Presented at the Fourth International Symposium for Olympic Research; Global and Cultural Critique: Problematizing the Olympic Games. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203122921-11

Cashman, R. (2005). The bitter-sweet awakening. The legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Sydney: Walla Walla Press.

Chalip, L (2004). Beyond impact: A general model for sport event leverage. En Ritchie, B. W., y Adair, D (Eds.), Sport tourism: Interrelationships, impacts and issues (Vol. 14). https://doi.org/10.21832/9781873150672-014

Chalip, L (2006). Towards social leverage of sport events. Journal of Sport and Tourism, 11(2), 109–127. https://doi.org/10.1080/14775080601155126

Chappelet, J.-L. (2008). Olympic environmental concerns as a legacy of the Winter Games. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 25(14), 1884–1902. https://doi.org/10.1080/09523360802438991

Chen, S., y Henry, I (2016). Evaluating the London 2012 Games’ impact on sport participation in a non-hosting region: A practical application of realist evaluation. Leisure studies, 35(5), 685-707. https://doi.org/10.1080/02614367.2015.1040827

Cleland, C. L., Ellaway, A., Clark, J., y Kearns, A (2020). Was Glasgow 2014 inspirational? Exploring the legacy impacts of a mega-sport event via the theorized demonstration and festival effects. Sport in society, 23(5), 810-831. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2019.1571044

Coates, J., y Vickerman, P. B (2016). Paralympic legacy: Exploring the impact of the games on the perceptions of young people with disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 33(4), 338-357. https://doi.org/10.1123/apaq.2014-0237

Commission Européenne (2016). Report to Commissioner Tibor Navracsics: Grassroots sport - shaping Europe - High level group on grassroots sport. EU Work Plan for Sport 2014-2017, (June).

Craig, C. L., y Bauman, A. E (2014). The impact of the Vancouver Winter Olympics on population level physical activity and sport participation among Canadian children and adolescents: Population based study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-014-0107-y

Dimanche, F. (1996). Special events legacy: The 1984 Louisiana world's fair in New Orleans. Festival Management and Event Tourism, 4(1), 49–54. https://doi.org/10.3727/106527096792232405

Doherty, A (2009). The volunteer legacy of a major sport event. Journal of policy research in tourism, leisure and events, 1(3), 185-207. https://doi.org/10.1080/19407960903204356

Dolan, P., Kavetsos, G., Krekel, C., Mavridis, D., Metcalfe, R., Senik, C., ... y Ziebarth, N. R (2019). Quantifying the intangible impact of the Olympics using subjective well-being data. Journal of Public Economics, 177, 104043. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2019.07.002

Feng, J., y Hong, F (2013). The legacy: Did the Beijing Olympic Games have a long-term impact on grassroots sport participation in Chinese townships? The International journal of the history of sport, 30(4), 407-421. https://doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2013.765725

Frawley, S., y Cush, A (2011). Major sport events and participation legacy: The case of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Managing leisure, 16(1), 65-76. https://doi.org/10.1080/13606719.2011.532605

Frawley, S., y Van den Hoven, P (2015). Football participation legacy and Australia’s qualification for the 2006 Football World Cup. Soccer y Society, 16(4), 482-492. https://doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2014.882817

Giulianotti, R. (2013). Six security legacies of major sporting events. Paper Presented at the ICSS.

González-Valero, G., Zurita-Ortega, F., Ubago-Jiménez, J. L., y Puertas-Molero, P. (2019). Use of meditation and cognitive behavioral therapies for the treatment of stress, depression and anxiety in students. A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 4393-4416. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224394

Gratton, C., Dobson, N., & Shibli, S. (2000). The economic importance of major sports events: a case-study of six events. Managing leisure, 5(1), 17-28. https://doi.org/10.1080/136067100375713

Grix, J. (2012). Image leveraging and sports mega-events: Germany and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Journal of Sport Tourism, 17(4), 289–312. https://doi.org/10.1080/14775085.2012.760934

Grix, J. (2013). Sport politics and the Olympics. Political Studies Review, 11(1), 15–25. https://doi.org/10.1111/1478-9302.12001

Gursoy, D. y Kendall, K.W. (2006). Hosting mega events: Modeling Locals’ Support. Annals of Tourism Research, 33(3), 603-623. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2006.01.005

Hiller, H. H. (2006). Post-event outcomes and the post-modern turn: The Olympics and urban transformations. European Sport Management Quarterly, 6(4), 317–332. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184740601154458

Hodgetts, D., y Duncan, M. J (2015). Quantitative analysis of sport development event legacy: an examination of the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships. European Sport Management Quarterly, 15(3), 364-380. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2015.1021824

International Olympic Committee (2020). Olympic Charter., (August), 1–110. Retrieved from: https://stillmed.olympics.com/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/General/EN-Olympic-Charter.pdf?_ga=2.89689625.360896469.1626253934-amp-_si7XBH8HAqqoikdHISwMg

Jerkunica, A., Miljak, T., y Todorović, M (2017). Economic Impacts of the Organization of Big Sports Events Based on The Example of the European Laser Senior Championship 2014. Baltic Journal of Sport and Health Sciences, 3(106). https://doi.org/10.33607/bjshs.v3i106.32

Karadakis, K., y Kaplanidou, K (2012). Legacy perceptions among host and non-host Olympic Games residents: A longitudinal study of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. European Sport Management Quarterly, 12(3), 243-264. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2012.680067

Kellett, P., Hede, A. M., & Chalip, L. (2008). Social policy for sport events: Leveraging (relationships with) teams from other nations for community benefit. European Sport Management Quarterly, 8(2), 101–121. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184740802024344

Kim, H., Choe, Y., Kim, D., y Kim, J. J (2019). For sustainable benefits and legacies of mega-events: A case study of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics from the perspective of the volunteer co-creators. Sustainability, 11(9), 2473. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092473

Knott, B., Allen, D., y Swart, K (2012). Stakeholder reflections of the tourism and nation-branding legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for South Africa. African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance, 18(Supplement 2), 112-122.

Koenigstorfer, J., Bocarro, J.N., Byers, T., Edwards, M.B., Jones, J.G. y Preuss, H. (2019). Mapping research on legacy of mega sporting events: structural changes, consequences, and stakeholder evaluations in empirical studies. Leisure Studies, 38(6), 102-12. https://doi.org/10.1080/02614367.2019.1662830

Kohe, G. Z., y Bowen-Jones, W (2016). Rhetoric and realities of London 2012 Olympic education and participation ‘legacies’: Voices from the core and periphery. Sport, education and society, 21(8), 1213-1229. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2014.997693

Kokolakakis, T., Lera-López, F., y Ramchandani, G (2019). Did London 2012 deliver a sports participation legacy? Sport Management Review, 22(2), 276-287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2018.04.004

Lee, I. M., Shiroma, E. J., Lobelo, F., Puska, P., Blair, S. N., Katzmarzyk, P. T., & Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Group. (2012). Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. The lancet, 380(9838), 219-229. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(12)61031-9

Leopkey, B., y Parent, M. M (2012). Olympic Games legacy: From general benefits to sustainable long-term legacy. The international journal of the history of sport, 29(6), 924-943. https://doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2011.623006

Li, S., y Blake, A (2009). Estimating Olympic‐related investment and expenditure. International Journal of Tourism Research, 11(4), 337-356. https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.694

Liu, D., Broom, D., y Wilson, R (2014). Legacy of the Beijing Olympic Games: a non-host city perspective. European Sport Management Quarterly, 14(5), 485-502. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2014.947301

Malchrowicz-Mosko, E., Poczta, J., y Adamczewska, K (2019). The potential of non-mega sporting events for the promotion of physical activity among inactive supporters at the Poznan half marathon: A case study. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(21), 4193. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214193

McCartney, G., Thomas, S., Thomson, H., Scott, J., Hamilton, V., Hanlon, P., et al. (2010). The health and socioeconomic impacts of major multi-sport events: Systematic review (1978–2008). BMJ, 340, c2369. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2369

O'Brien, D (2007). Points of leverage: Maximizing host community benefit from a regional surfing festival. European Sport Management Quarterly, 7(2), 141-165. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184740701353315

O’Brien, D., y Chalip, L (2007). 19 sport events and strategic leveraging: pushing towards the triple bottom line. Tourism management: Analysis, behaviour, and strategy, 318. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781845933234.0318

Pappous, A., y Hayday, E (2015). A case study investigating the impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on. https://doi.org/10.1080/02614367.2015.1035314

Parra, D., Moreno, F. C., Sanz, V. A., Pérez, D. A., y Pomar, J. M. N (2014). El impacto de un evento deportivo mediano: percepción de los residentes de la comunidad de acogida. Retos. Nuevas tendencias en Educación Física, Deporte y Recreación, (26), 88-93. https://doi.org/10.47197/retos.v0i26.34407

Parra, D., Dos Santos, M. A., y Bastías, D. D (2018). Residents' perceptions of the negative impacts of the Copa América de Fútbol in Chile: pre-and post-event comparison. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 18, 1290-1297. https://doi.org/10.7752/jpes.2018.s3192

Preuss, H. (2004). The economics of staging the Olympics: A comparison of the Games, 1972–2008. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Preuss, H (2007). The conceptualisation and measurement of mega sport event legacies. Journal of sport y tourism, 12(3-4), 207-228. https://doi.org/10.1080/14775080701736957

Preuss, H., y Arne Solberg, H (2006). Attracting major sporting events: The role of local residents. European sport management quarterly, 6(4), 391-411. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184740601154524

Preuss, H. (2018). Event legacy framework and measurement. International Journal of Sport Policy1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/19406940.2018.1490336

Raco, M. (2004). Whose gold rush? The social legacy of a London Olympics. In A. Vigor, M. Mean, & C. Tims (Eds.), After the gold rush: A sustainable Olympics for London (pp. 33–49). London: Institute for Public Policy Research/Demos.

Ramchandani, G., Davies, L. E., Coleman, R., Shibli, S., y Bingham, J (2015). Limited or lasting legacy? The effect of non-mega sport event attendance on participation. European Sport Management Quarterly, 15(1), 93-110. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2014.996583

Salgado, J., Fernández, P. S., Álvarez, M. P., y Alonso, Á. B (2018). Economic valuation of a medium-sized sporting event: impact of the Spanish Swimming Championship. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 18, 1349-1355. https://doi.org/10.7752/jpes.2018.s3200

Scheu, A., y Preuss, H (2017). The legacy of the Olympic Games from 1896–2016. A systematic review of academic publications. Mainzer Papers on Sport Economics and Management, 1-115.

Searle, G. (2002). Uncertain legacy: Sydney’s Olympic stadiums. European Planning Studies, 10(7), 845–860. https://doi.org/10.1080/0965431022000013257

Sotos-Prieto, M., Prieto, J., Manera, M., Baladia, E., Martínez-Rodríguez, R., & Basulto, J. (2014). Ítems de referencia para publicar Revisiones Sistemáticas y Metaanálisis: La Declaración PRISMA. Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética, 18(3), 172-181. https://doi.org/10.14306/renhyd.18.3.114

Sousa-Mast, F. R., Reis, A. C., Gurgel, L. A., y Duarte, A. F. P (2013). Are cariocas getting ready for the Games? Sport participation and the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. Managing leisure, 18(4), 331-335. https://doi.org/10.1080/13606719.2013.809187

Taks, M., Chalip, L., & Green, B. C. (2015). Impacts and strategic outcomes from non-mega sport events for local communities. European Sport Management Quarterly, 15(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2014.995116

Taks, M., Green, B. C., Misener, L., & Chalip, L. (2014). Evaluating sport development outcomes: The case of a medium-sized international sport event. European Sport Management Quarterly, 14(3), 213–237. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2014.882370

Thompson, C., Lewis, D. J., Greenhalgh, T., Smith, N. R., Fahy, A. E., y Cummins, S (2015). “Everyone was looking at you smiling”: East London residents' experiences of the 2012 Olympics and its legacy on the social determinants of health. Health y place, 36, 18-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.08.008

Thomson, A., Schlenker, K., y Schulenkorf, N (2013). Conceptualizing sport event legacy. Event Management, 17(2), 111-122. https://doi.org/10.3727/152599513x13668224082260

Thomson, A., Cuskelly, G., Toohey, K., Kennely, Burton, P. y Fredline, L. (2018). Sport event legacy: A systematic quantitative review of literature. Sport Management Review, 22, 3 (295-321). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2018.06.011

Tichaawa, T. M., Bama, H. K. N., y Swart, K (2015). Community perceptions of the socio-economic legacies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth, South Africa: A four-year post-event analysis. African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance, 21(4.2), 1376-1388.

Veal, A. J., Toohey, K., y Frawley, S. (2012). The sport participation legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and other international sporting events hosted in Australia. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism Leisure and Events, 4(2), 155–184. https://doi.org/10.1080/19407963.2012.662619

Weed, M., Coren, E., Fiore, J., Wellard, I., Chatziefstathiou, D., Mansfield, L., et al. (2015). The Olympic Games and raising sport participation: A systematic review of evidence and an interrogation of policy for a demonstration effect. European Sport Management Quarterly, 15(2), 195–226. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2014.998695

A 360º sustainable approach of sport events legacies: A systematic review


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Carbonell-García, V., Padial-Ruz, R., Puga-González, E., & Cabello-Manrique, D. (2022). A 360º sustainable approach of sport events legacies: A systematic review. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 18(2), 296–316. https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2023.182.03



Review Paper

Most read articles by the same author(s)