The framed and contested meanings of sport mega-event “legacies”: A case study of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Jamal McKenzie, Jan Andre Lee Ludvigsen, Andrea Scott-Bell, John William Hayton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the ways in which envisioned sport mega-event legacies are publicly framed, communicated and contested. By employing Bourdieusian field theory, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) as a case, and drawing upon documentary and media analysis, this article questions how CWG 2022 legacies were framed in a pre-event context. The article makes two key arguments. First, dominant actors within the mega-event field framed a considerable part of their pre-event legacies in terms of intangible inclusivity legacies relating to the host city's local communities, workforce and volunteering practices. Second, alongside these framed legacies, counterclaims emerged from actors on a civil society level, illustrative of a wider scepticism toward mega-events’ effects in the present day. Whilst limited scholarship has examined CWG 2022 to date, this paper also advances scholarship on sport mega-events’ socio-political legacies whilst it, theoretically, unpacks Bourdieu's tools of ‘field’ and ‘doxa’ in a new context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Early online date22 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2024

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