AS IT prepares to host this year's Olympics, London was this month crowned SportsBusiness' 2012 'Ultimate Sports City', relegating Melbourne – which has held the title for the past six years – to second place.
Compiled by SportBusiness Group, the analysis seeks to determine which city in the world is the 'Ultimate Sports City' in terms of hosting a sports event. Twenty-five finalist cities were ranked by the number of annual sports events hosted or secured between 2008 and 2016, plus other criteria including transport, government support, public interest and quality of life.
London topped the table with 491 points, 10 more than Melbourne. After finishing in fifth place in 2010, Sydney moved up into third position with 421 points.
New York climbed from tenth position in 2010 to fourth this year with 406 points, closely followed by Manchester in fifth place with 398 points (up from seventh in 2010).
Singapore dropped from second in 2010 to sixth this year. Berlin came in seventh place after finishing fourth in 2010, followed by Copenhagen in eighth position and Glasgow and Paris ninth and tenth respectively.
SportBusiness consultant Rachael Church-Sanders said it was "fitting that England's capital city London has triumphed in its Olympic year to win the award of SportBusiness' Ultimate Sports City for the first time, despite stiff competition from Melbourne and Sydney in particular."
"London also ranked highly in the category awards, coming first for both Hosting and Public Sports Interest/Tourism and came second in a further four categories and third in three, showing its capabilities as an all-rounder.
"Regular annual events such as Wimbledon, the FA Cup final and the London Marathon have captured the imagination of the world for years and make London a worthy winner of this award," Ms Church-Sanders said.
The full results will be published in June's Ultimate Sports Cities 2012 Report, along with case studies on the shortlisted cities in addition to some other cities including Baku, Calgary, Denver and the Gold Coast. More information is available from the SportsBusiness website at <http://www.sportbusiness.com/>.