Melbourne retains Ultimate Sports City title

Sport Business News

Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria in Australia, remains the best location in the world to hold a sports event according to an industry analysis of sports cities globally. Compiled by SportBusiness Group, the analysis sought to determine which city in the world is the 'Ultimate Sports City' in terms of hosting a sports event.

Announced at the SportAccord Convention in Dubai at the end of April 2010, the 2006 Commonwealth Games host came out on top for the third time in a row, beating new entrant Singapore into second place and London, England into third place. Germany's capital city Berlin took fourth place and Melbourne's Australian rival Sydney took fifth. Although Melbourne was the clear winner by 55 points, only 24 points separated the cities in second, third, fourth and fifth places, highlighting how accomplished the competition was. Despite hosting a successful 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Vancouver fell one place to sixth in the table compared with 2008. New entrant Manchester entered the rankings in seventh position, with Dubai, Paris and New York completing the top 10. Twenty–five cities made the initial cut based on their history of hosting sports events and then were interviewed and ranked according to SportBusiness and independent consultant Rachael Church–Sanders, who is also editorial director of MEI, by a range of criteria including the number of annual sports events held, major events held or won between 2006 and 2014, numbers of federations hosted, facilities/venues, transport, accommodation, government support, security, legacy, public sports interest and quality of life. The full results will be published in the Ultimate Sports Cities 2010 Report during May 2010 along with detailed case studies on the shortlisted cities and interesting cities that just failed to make the cut. To reflect the number of smaller cities aspiring to host major sports events, SportBusiness introduced new size bands this year enabling awards to be made to cities with populations of 1m or below ('Small'), between 1m and 3. 4m ('Medium'), between 3. 4m and 7. 0m ('Large') and finally, 7. 0m or above ('XL'). The overall Ultimate Sports City winner was not eligible to be the winner of its population band too. Speaking about the findings, Ultimate Sports Cities 2010 author Rachael Church–Sanders, said: "Bidding for and then hosting sports events is a massive business with a lot of attention given to major events such as the Olympics, FIFA World Cup and Commonwealth Games. Whilst our winner has proven itself as an excellent host for the latter, Melbourne also has a strong track record of hosting major annual events such as a Formula One Grand Prix and Australian Open Tennis Championships. The city's excellent facilities, strong government support, exceptional legacy planning and not to mention fabulous weather make it a worthy winner once again. Meanwhile, second–placed Singapore's position is fully–deserved due to the city's efforts to propel itself to the forefront of event hosting through the 2010 Youth Olympics, World Netball Championships and its Formula One Grand Prix. London, Berlin and Sydney are all top five stalwarts in these Awards and continue to host exceptional events. "

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