Colombia has lost the opportunity to host the 2027 Pan American Games in Barranquilla due to poor management and decisions. Panam Sports withdrew the opportunity from the country due to non-compliance with agreed terms, affecting the country’s image in the world of sports and causing economic loss.
Official studies from the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games in Chile showed that the event injected nearly 900 million dollars into the Chilean economy, representing an increase of 0.3% of Chile’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the current year. The games also promoted job creation and improved local infrastructure.
The studies highlighted the economic benefits derived from the games, with direct and indirect contributions to the GDP, generation of salaries, job creation, and public revenue. The state investment in the event also reflected long-term legacy in terms of infrastructure and economic activation.
The games served as a showcase for Chile, attracting athletes, tourists, journalists, and fans from all over the continent. 1,327,894 people purchased tickets for the events, while another 400,000 enjoyed free access competitions.
The success of the games was also attributed to commercial management, with 34 commercial brands and eight institutional partners contributing 16 million dollars through commercial agreements. This collaboration underlines the support of the private sector in the success of the games and its positive economic impact on the country.
The synergy between international sporting events and local economic development demonstrates how sport can be a catalyst for economic growth, job creation, and infrastructure improvement. Chile’s experience in 2023 serves as a case study in the potential of large events to boost national economies.
Colombia’s loss of the Pan American Games not only means losing the opportunity to generate employment and have national economic growth, but also a strong global image in the sports sector. The country also missed out on an economic injection that could have helped Barranquilla and the surrounding cities that were already building sports venues for the competition. Colombia will be absent from Panam Sports’ radar for a few years, while the draws and elections for new venues will be distributed in the different main cities of the countries that are part of the Pan-American region.
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