Sport’s age of excess: tournaments keep getting bigger, but will they get better? | Sean Ingle

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A thirst for increasing revenue means more content for our eyeballs, but do some events now risk killing the golden goose?

We have entered an era where World Cup tournaments feel like the equivalent of a four‑hour director’s cut: brilliant but flawed, with too many throwaway scenes before the thrilling denouement. The men’s Cricket World Cup took 38 days and 45 matches to whittle 10 teams down to four semi-finalists – which, astonishingly, was 10 days longer than the entire 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. Meanwhile its rugby union equivalent needed a month and 40 games to shave 20 countries to eight. And yet we ain’t seen nothing yet.

In 2027, cricket and rugby union will have four more teams and yet more matches. The 2026 football World Cup in the US, Canada and Mexico is going Super Size Me: from 32 teams to 48, and 64 matches to 104. Academics have an umbrella term for tournaments so big that millions across the globe gravitate towards them: sporting mega‑events. Think World Cups. Think Olympic Games. Think big, big, big. But is big always better?

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Written by Sean Ingle
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/nov/21/sports-age-of-excess-tournaments-get-bigger-but-will-they-get-better under the title “Sport’s age of excess: tournaments keep getting bigger, but will they get better? | Sean Ingle”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.