Using a contingent valuation survey, this paper provides the first empirical test of the proposition that intangible impacts might justify hosting major sporting events on cost—benefit grounds. Respondents, drawn from London, Manchester and Glasgow, were asked for their willingness to pay (WTP) to host the 2012 Olympic Games in London on the basis of the intangible impacts that this event might provide. Annual mean WTP is £22, £12 and £11 per year (for 10 years) in these 3 UK cities respectively. An illustrative total (UK) WTP for intangible impacts is in the region of £2 billion. Statistical analysis of WTP determinants reveals a range of plausible explanatory factors such as respondents' degree of support for the bid.
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