This year Paris was named the world top sport city – 2023. And this is not about the length of bike and jogging paths. Leading sport city is more about global sport events, reputation, investments, infrastructure and new work places.
The BCW Sport Cities international ranking measures how many quality global sport events the city hosts, whether sports experts and international federations consider the city a promising one and evaluates if the city is considered "sporty" between international and local media, bloggers.
Ranking reflects the experience of the cities to hold international and local competitions - Olympics, international competitions (athletics, water sports, tennis, chess and etc.), world championships, football cups, Formula 1. Top position proves that sport and transport infrastructure, hospitality industry match the highest international standards.
It is a long journey to be recognized as world top sport city. It starts with building a profound city's sports strategy, building stadiums and swimming pools, creating a community of people who love sports, working with experts and sport federations to promote the opportunities.
Paris meets all of the criteria above - a developed sports infrastructure, a famous tourist centre, a transport hub and a financial center, a devoted sport community.
The key events in the international sports life are international championships and the Olympic Games. They activate the entire sport life in the city, attract athletes, tourists, new tournaments, investments.
Paris is hosting the Olympic games in 2024, and this has already allowed the city to win in advance, having risen from 5th to 1st place in recent years. Also this year, the city hosts the Rugby World Cup 2023.
But is this victory sustainable and forever? Tokyo, which recently hosted the Winter Olympics, has already fallen to 8th place behind London, Los Angeles, Manchester and Barcelona.
The experience of some other cities proves that it is possible to achieve long-term results and to become leaders through a competent strategy and a long and hard work.
Thus, the Central European Budapest demonstrates positive dynamics and for the first time entered the top-10 of the global ranking. In 2018 Budapest was only 41’th – really great work already done!
The city has already solidified itself as a hospitable home for different international competitions: in 2022 the city hosted the 2022 World Aquatics Championship, this August - the 2023 World Athletics Championships. Also the World Aquatics (FINA) plans to move its headquarters to Budapest in recent future.
The high rating of the city was greatly facilitated by the renovation of the sport infrastructure - the largest stadiums were renovated and rebuilt in 2019 (Pushkas Arena) and 2022 (MVM Dome), also the new water sports arena was built - Dunabe Arena with two Olympic-standard swimming pools.
Doha (Qatar) also looks very promising. In 2018, the city ranked 34th in global sport city rankings, and in 2023 it has risen up to 11th place in world ranking. City successfully hosted 2022 FIFA World Cup, 2023 World Judo Championships. FIBA Basketball World Cup is scheduled to 2027.
Also the city is already a global transport hub between Europe, Asia and Africa, strong financial hub. Doha definitely has a strategic goal and successfully moves in the right direction.
Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) is a multinational public relations and communications firm, headquartered in New York City. The report is elaborated by BCW Global Sports Practice (Lausanne Switzerland).