Publication Details

Waitt, G. & Furrer, P. (2000). Sharing the spirit? Sociospatial polarization and expressed enthusiasm for the Olympic Games. Pacific Tourism Review, 3 173-184.


This article seeks to contribute to the literature that assesses the local outcomes of hosting hallmark events by examining the expressed levels of enthusiasm for the year 2000 Olympic Games within Sydney. We report on the results of a telephone survey of 658 Sydney residents conducted in February 1998 designed to measure enthusiasm for the 2000 Olympic Games. As of February 1998, it appeared that enthusiasm for the 2000 Olympics remained strong in Sydney, thereby providing support to the views of those who regard hallmark events as a psychological mechanism to assist residents to feel a sense of pride in their city and nation. However, higher levels of enthusiasm were recorded in the lower socioeconomic status suburbs of Western Sydney than in the higher status suburbs of the North Shore. These differences were not statistically differentiated by economic indicators (income, occupation, and education levels) but were significant by association with social variables such as country of birth, age, and marital and family status. Several implications of these results are considered within the literature debating the outcome of hosting hallmark events.