NEW DELHI :
Delhi, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad have emerged as the top five cities with the required infrastructure to host international sporting events, said a joint report by consulting, auditing and advisory firm Grant Thornton Bharat and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Although India has hosted many global events such as 2010 Commonwealth Games, ICC World Cup 2011, FIFA U-17 World Cup, Formula One 2011 Indian Grand Prix and Hockey World Cup, it is the only country among the top 10 economies in the world to have never hosted the prestigious summer Olympic Games.
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The Sports Cities of India 2021 study evaluates the readiness of Indian cities to host international events. The cities have been ranked on their ability to host world-class multi-sport events, fan following during live events, ease of access and availability of playgrounds and sports facilities, quality of sports academies, coaching centres and other facilities.
The findings are based on a survey of 50 respondents, including sports professionals, associations, the government, academies, clubs, infrastructure developers, sports media, leagues, and event and sports management agencies.
Delhi and Mumbai emerged as the top cities with a score of 7.9. Delhi has hosted multiple mega-events such as the FIH Men’s Hockey and 2010 Commonwealth Games. While it has good quality infrastructure, presence of federations and sports businesses, it needs to improve on the number of people attending sports tournaments and proper utilization of sports facilities in certain stadiums. Despite space constraints, Mumbai, the financial capital of India, also hosted 20 major international events in the last four years, with an average of five events being hosted annually. It needs to improve on the quality of stadium and active involvement of people to play sports.
Bhubaneswar was at the third spot with a score of 7.2. However, the city needs to improve on participation of local teams for national leagues and presence of sports businesses, federations, association, brands and manufacturers. Orissa supports three professional sports league teams—Kalinga Lancers, Odisha FC and Indian Arrows. After hosting the Hockey World Cup in 2018 and Asian Athletics Championship in 2017, Bhubaneswar has also won the bid to host the Hockey World Cup in 2023–for the first time the event will have same hosts for the second time in a row.