Auckland has been named ‘Best Medium City’ at the prestigious SportsBusiness Ultimate Sports City Awards for the third consecutive time. The ‘Best Medium City’ award is open to cities with populations between 1.3 and 2 million.
London was best overall Ultimate Sports City, while New York, Melbourne and Glasgow took best extra-large, large and small city awards.
The awards, which happen every two years, were announced at the 2018 Sport Accord World Sport and Business Summit in Bangkok this week.
Auckland’s accolade comes on the back of the biggest periods in its history for major events, including the World Masters Games 2017, the British & Irish Lions Series, Rugby League World Cup 2017 and Volvo Ocean Race stopover, in addition Auckland’s annual major events portfolio – a diverse range of cultural, sporting and lifestyle events.
Mayor Phil Goff says, “Sporting events make our city a more interesting and exciting place to live. They attract tens of thousands of competitors and spectators from around the world and inject money into our regional economy."
Head of Major Events for Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Stuart Turner says Auckland was commended for its strong and transparent major events strategy, its successful policy of creating home-grown events, and its high scores across the judging categories.
“This latest accolade reinforces Auckland’s reputation as a major events city which can deliver world-class events – and that’s important as we compete internationally to host events which inject tens of millions into our economy every year."
Since Auckland’s Major Events Strategy (PDF) was approved by Auckland Council in 2011, ATEED-sponsored major events have contributed $360 million to the regional economy and 2.2m visitor nights (from 2011/12 FY – 2016/17 FY).