Citation Rocha CM (2016) Support of politicians for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Leisure Studies, 35 (4), pp. 487-504. https://doi.org/10.1080/02614367.2015.1042508
Abstract The purpose of this research was to explore and describe politicians’ evaluations of the work done by the government, perceptions of legacy and support for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. The literature has argued that organisers must know in advance the opinion of main stakeholders in order to plan, organise and stage sport mega-events which are going to leave important legacy to the hosts. Considering politicians have privileged information about costs and benefits of sport mega-events, they are more likely than any other group of stakeholders to be able to make rational choices about social exchanges related to such events. Social exchange theory provided the theoretical background to test a structural model, where evaluations of the work done and perceptions of legacy were antecedents of support. Out of 715 politicians, 13 senators, 40 congressmen, six Rio state representatives and five Rio city councillors took part into a survey responding a questionnaire. Controlling for political affiliation of respondents, the tourism legacy was evaluated as the most likely to happen, while the environmental legacy was evaluated as the least likely to stay after the games. Political affiliation affected the evaluation of the work of the government, but not perceptions about positive legacies and support. Overall, politicians’ support depends on evaluations of the work of the government and perceptions of legacy.