Examining Positive Outcomes of Failed Olympic Bids

Paul Salisbury, Becca Leopkey, Cem Tinaz

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


This report provides evidence of positive outcomes of unsuccessful bids for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Current literature focuses heavily on the legacy from hosting sporting events, with little coverage of the impacts experienced from the bidding process. Many cities and regions have competed to host these top tier events with little achievement, or only with success after several times though the cycle. While the International Olympic Committee has given the bid legacies increasing attention in its materials forwarded to Applicant Cities, little research has fully delved into the topic. This research project uses three case study cities: Manchester, Chicago and Istanbul to further explore this topic and employs archive research and semi-structured interviews to ascertain both the tangible and intangible legacies of failed Olympic bids. Data was collected during 2016-17 and the results build upon existing literature, particularly the work of Lauermann (2014, 2016a, 2016b, 2017) and demonstrate that, depending on the initial motivation for the bid, positive outcomes are possible. We argue that in several areas such as community, promotion, urban, infrastructure, hosting capacity, sport networks and social capital legacies are possible, but not automatic for failed bid cities. The findings of the research will be useful for the IOC as it aims to increase the volume of future bids, but also for potential host cities who may wish to maximise their bidding experience.
Original languageEnglish
TypeIOC Advanced Research Grant
Number of pages64
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Failed bids
  • Olympic bid
  • Bid legacy
  • Legacy
  • Mega event


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