SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City 2014 Awards Shortlist Announced

Thirty cities have made the cut to be considered the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City of 2014. Representing all the continents in the world, the shortlist – which has been expanded from 25 cities in previous editions in order to recognise the growing number of world class sports hosts - includes some candidates that have featured in the four previous editions between 2006 and 2012, as well as some interesting new entrants.

Reigning 2012 Ultimate Sports City London will be challenged by Melbourne (which won the coveted title in 2006, 2008 and 2010), as well as by Sydney, New York, Manchester, Singapore, Berlin, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Paris, Tokyo, Vancouver, Istanbul, Dubai, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Sochi, Doha, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam and Beijing, which all made the last shortlist in 2012.

Cape Town, Delhi and Sao Paulo all make a return to the shortlist having last appeared in 2010. Meanwhile, five cities appearing on the shortlist for the very first time are Auckland, Baku, Calgary, Kazan and Warsaw.

The cities featuring in the latest shortlist include the top 15 ranking cities from the 2012 edition of Ultimate Sports Cities followed by the 10 top ranking cities based on events held between 2010 and 2018 (that did not appear in the top 15 already selected) as well as five ‘wild card’ entrants voted on by a panel of SportBusiness judges.

Criteria for Final Awards

The ‘SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards’ are the internationally recognised and longest established rankings of the world’s top sports hosts. Held every two years since 2006, the 2014 awards will be the fifth time the recognition has been given. Cities have been selected and will be ranked by SportBusiness’ expert judging panel who all have extensive knowledge of sports events and the destinations that host them.

As in the past, the shortlisted cities will be evaluated according to the size and volume of events they have hosted between an eight year time period (which has moved on two years to 2010 and 2018 since the last rankings) alongside a range of other criteria including:

  • venues
  • transport and infrastructure
  • accommodation
  • event strategy
  • government and public support
  • legacy
  • quality of life
  • security
  • marketing/promotional ability/branding.

Within the events strategy section, two new areas will be judged by the panel – cultural events and home-grown events – reflecting the increasing cohesiveness of major events strategies across all genres as well as the desire to build events that reflect a city’s capability and brand respectively.

To reflect the number of smaller cities aspiring to host major sports events, SportBusiness will once again use size bands enabling awards to be made to cities with populations of 1.2m or below, between 1.2m and 3m, between 3m and 7m and finally, 7m or above.

The final results will be announced at the SportAccord Convention in Antalya, Turkey in April and the prize of Ultimate Sports City 2014 will be presented to the winning city alongside awards for individual winners across the scoring categories.

Speaking about the new shortlist, Ultimate Sports Cities 2014 head judge and author Rachael Church-Sanders, said: “Congratulations to the 30 cities that have made the cut to be considered the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City of 2014, and in particular to our new entrants Auckland, Baku, Calgary, Kazan and Warsaw, which we expect to challenge the established order of successful major events hosts that have regularly done well in these awards.”

In addition to providing case studies of the Ultimate Sports Cities contenders and their final rankings, the Ultimate Sports Cities 2014 report will feature case studies on several cities that are deemed ‘Ones to Watch’ by SportBusiness experts.

Final Shortlist for Ultimate Sports Cities 2014 (in alphabetical order)







Cape Town








Kuala Lumpur






New York


Rio de Janeiro

Sao Paulo







For further details about the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards 2014, contact Stuart Lewis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To supply information or views on any of the shortlisted cities, please contact Rachael Church-Sanders on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Additional information