Webinar: A Positive Legacy

Legacy has become a key ‘buzz’ word in the sports events industry in recent years.

Days before the start of SportAccord Convention, a panel of experts in an internet webinar debated how to create a positive legacy for event hosts.

Omur Akay, Senior Vice-President at CH2M HILL, Kosta lliev, Sports Director at FIBA 3x3, and Andrew Gettig, Vice-President at Connor Sport Court International, participated in the webinar, which was moderated by Matt Cutler, Editor of SportBusiness International, a Media Partner of SportAccord Convention.

Sustainability is becoming an increasingly hot topic in the industry, with Gettig kicking off the discussion by saying: “There's hosting events and there's hosting sustainable events. Sustainability is becoming more and more popular.”

Iliev went so far as to suggest that sustainability has become one of the three most important check points for an event host. “An attractive event, an affordable event and adopting an environmentally friendly attitude are the most important three things,” he said.

Akay underlined the need to include the issue from the early stages of preparing for an event. “Sustainability comes from planning,” he said. “In my opinion, the London 2012 Olympics set out a new blueprint for hosting major sustainable events.”

Iliev expanded on the discussion by saying that FIBA always work closely with an event host to stage a sustainable event, an assertion that was backed up by Gettig.

“As we're talking about temporary venues, FIBA 3x3 do it brilliantly,” he said. “They're in and out in a great, clean way. They even managed to host an event on Miami Beach without leaving any sort of negative impact! The fact that we're even talking about positive legacy from sports events is a fantastic thing.”

Iliev added: “We have temporary structures – that's a rule. We're going to the most attractive places in cities where you rarely have the facilities. Some organising committees use hosting a sports event as an excuse to build permanent infrastructure in the city, but we have an opportunity to let smaller cities host high-level basketball events with 3x3.”

Gettig echoed Iliev’s sentiments by saying that ‘white elephants’ should be avoided at all costs.

“Nobody wants to be the one to build an event structure that is never used again or that is pulled down,” he said.

Akay added that the ability to host a sustainable event is not restricted by geography.

“Any country or city can host a sustainable event and all countries should have the opportunity to prove that.

“Qatar 2022 is going to have a major impact socially and culturally.”