Mega events and their impact on the development of host cities have drawn increasing interest as they have become part of a wider city development strategy. Over the past twenty years, investment in sporting infrastructure nationally had not been focused at getting the local community involved in sport, but was instead aimed at attracting tourists, encouraging inward investment and changing the image of the city. The study sets out to investigate the extent and pattern of patronage of the sports facilities provided for the COJA games and the implications on sports tourism development in the Federal Capital City Abuja Nigeria. The survey was conducted to the management staffs, Sports Federations and patrons who patronize the facilities. The study made use of questionnaire, interview and physical observation to collect data from the respondents. Questionnaires were administered within the facility. Purposive sampling technique was adopted in administering a total of 200 questionnaires. The findings revealed that five different types of events were organized within the facilities ranging from sporting events, religious events, political events, entertainment and educational events with the sporting events been the highest (96%). The findings further showed that the Basketball Federation organised the highest number of events with 161sporting events (20.86%), followed by Tennis Federation with 147 sporting events (19.04%) and Crickets Federation 108 events (13.99%), while Cycling, Softball and Boxing Federations did not host any event. The findings also showed that the gymnasium had been the most utilised facility for events organised within the complex (46%), followed by the Tennis court with (19%) and the Cricket stadium with (14%), while the Softball and they were not utilized after the COJA games. The findings also revealed that the sports tourism events organised within the facilities is lower than expected (38%). The findings also showed that majority of the patrons of the complex (84%) are not tourist and that only (16%) of them are tourist. Also majority of the users are of the view that the standard of the facilities is bad (42.11), also (46.86%) are of the view that the facilities are poorly maintained. One of the implications is that the facilities are underutilized and so the huge investment of public funds is not justified. Also the dream of making Nigeria a sports destination was not met due to its inability to attract high number of sports tourism events. Based on these, the study made some recommendations which include the Government relaxing the regulations that prohibit the use of the complex for other events, ensure that the sustainability plan of the facilities is implemented, privatization of the complex, attracting more international competitions within the sports facilities and also dismantling facilities that are not been utilized after COJA. These will enhance the level of utilization and patronage of the COJA sporting facilities for sports tourism.

Tourism to date is rated among the fastest and largest growing economic sectors in the world. The sector contributes about 9% to the global GDP and a record of US$1.075 billion is acknowledged as international tourism receipts (World Tourism Organization, 2013). Sport is regarded as the world‟s largest social phenomenon, while tourism is predicted to become the world‟s biggest industry by the year 2020 (Kurtzman and Zauhar, 2010). Sport is an important activity within tourism and tourism is a fundamental characteristic of sports. Sport tourism is the temporary movement of sports men and spectators outside their home for the purpose of active or passive participation in sporting events in a familiar or unfamiliar locality or environment. Sports and tourism are distinct but interrelated socio-cultural events and experiences of a society. Sports unify and integrate people from different parts of the society who temporarily leave homes for active or passive participation in sports. Higham (1999) stated that sport tourism can range from professional sports such as football, soccer, baseball, basketball and hockey, to collegiate level and even high school level sporting events, and mega sporting events such as Olympics, the Super Bowl and World cup soccer. Tourism is a trillion-dollar industry, while sport is a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide and has become a dominant and defining force in the lives of millions of people globally (Martin, 2007).

Travelling for the purpose of sport and sports related events could be traced to Ancient Olympic Games. People worldwide are participating more in sports and events, and travelling to certain destinations, for the pleasure and enjoyments of physical events, amateur and professionals. These sports tourists include athletes, coaches, fans, media personnel, technical crew personnel, peers, friends, spectators, parents, siblings, relatives, among others (Zauhar, 2004). Mega sports events are short term events with long term consequences. The long term developmental expectations (economic, political, social, cultural, and infrastructural) make cities and countries to strive to host the mega sports events, not minding the associated cost of hosting such events.

Mega sports can be described as events which are large in scale. They have the ability to affect the host city or a region‟s whole economies and reverberate throughout the global media. Events such as these are usually identified as global sporting events for example; FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. The African Games, also known as the All African Games or the Pan African Games, are a continental multi-sport event held every four years. The games had a French origin and so the Organizing Committee of the games is called Committe’ d’organisation de jeux Afriain, with an acronym COJA.

The very nature of these mega events draw upon a global audience due to the participating nations. This draws great attention to the host as it is put under the media spotlight, allowing the host to develop and transform its infrastructure, not only to handle the massive influx of visitors, but to create an attractive destination which will provide lasting legacy for future generations.

The increasing number of cities bidding to host the Olympics and the increasing funds invested in Olympic bids indicate that local leaders perceive the securing of such an event as an opportunity to improve economic and social aspects of a city or region through the accumulated investment triggered by staging the games. As a result, in the course of the past two decades, there has been increased interest on the impact of the Olympics on the socio-economic and political life of the host city, region and country. Often, the concept of the Olympic Games‟ legacy is discussed in bid books of candidate host cities.

In recent years, the hosting of large sporting events has become a symbol of prestige and national pride. Developing nations are hosting major sporting events frequently and on a massive scale. Often used as a justification from this escapade in hosting a mega event is the purposed infrastructural legacy that will remain after the event. From the bid documents of the London Olympics to the Delhi Commonwealth Games, infrastructural legacy is cited as a legitimate reason for spending the billions of dollars needed for hosting the event. The reason for this is that in the post event period the sporting facilities will be put in use which will boost tourism potentials of the host nation. The Olympic Games is one of the world‟s great mega events. Given the event‟s significance studies have paid increasing attention to the Olympics in recent years. Indeed, host cities generally attach great importance to the Games, economic implications, event-related income, and development in tourism. Many studies have looked at the economic implications of staging mega-events for host cities.

Most studies attempt to identify the economic benefits, measuring either the extent to which such benefits can be sustained in the long term (Preuss, 2004; Kasimati, 2003; Graton et al, 2006), while others focus on the development of event tourism (Higham, 2004; Gotham, 2005; Weed, 2008). Some studies have also drawn attention to the events socio-cultural and environmental impact (Jones, 2001; Olds, 1998; Waitt, 2003). Therefore, although the post-Games period is by far the longest period that stretches for decades after the Games to affect a host city, it‟s “clearly the least-planned period” (Cashman 1998). Over the past twenty years‟ investment in sporting infrastructure at national level in cities was not primarily aimed at getting the local community involved in sport, but was instead aimed at attracting tourists, encouraging inward investment and changing the image of the city (Graton 2005). This research aims at assessing the patronage of the sporting facilities provided for the 2003 COJA Games hosted in the Federal Capital City Abuja, Nigeria in the post events period to determine whether they are sports tourism related or not.

Hosting Mega events is perceived as an important vehicle for driving large tourist numbers and generating economic returns for tourism development (Hall, 1992). Other than benefits derived during the games, there are expectations also that in the post event period, facilities provided would lead to a sustained flow of tourists, a condition which usually provides the basis for the growth of the sports tourism industry. While countries like Spain, UK, Australia, USA, Italy and Canada have developed a vibrant sports tourism industry from post games utilization of facilities, this has not been the case with many countries including Nigeria.

The All African games (COJA) is a regional multisport event held every four years by the Association of National Olympic Committees of African (ANOCA). The event was held in Abuja Nigeria in 2003 and the legacy it left behind include the Velodrome, Main bowl, Softball stadium, Gymnasium, Aquatic complex, Tennis court, Cricket stadium, Handball court and Shooting facilities, Games village, Transportation facilities. Mega events are capital intensive and require extensive studies not only prior to bidding, but in periods after events are concluded. While other mega events in Europe have been extensively studied over the years, the Abuja COJA 2003 has not. Little therefore is known of the legacies of the games and the way it could be sustained.

The study seeks to resolve the following questions:

What is the level of patronage of Sports facilities provided for the COJA 2003 Games?

How significant is the patronage of the facilities for sport tourism?

What are the explanatory factors for the level of sports tourism activities associated with the facilities?

1.4.1 Aim
The aim of this research is to investigate the extent and pattern of patronage of sports facilities provided for the COJA games and the implications on sports tourism development in the Federal Capital City. Lessons learnt from the research are useful for the planning and for addressing existing constraints of low patronage of the COJA facilities.

1.4.2 Objectives
The objectives of the research are

1.      To review the relationship between sports mega events, post event facilities patronage and sports tourism development.

2.      To examine the forms and levels of utilization of COJA facilities between 2004 and 2015.

3.      To examine the extent of utilization of the COJA facilities for Sports tourism.

4.      To examine the users‟ perception of the facilities.

5.      To examine the implications of the findings and make recommendations.

The study will be limited to the sporting facilities used for the 2003 All African Games in Abuja the Federal Capital. The focus on patronage will enable assessment of the impact of the facilities on sports tourism in the Federal Capital City.

The following challenges were encountered through the course of this research;

Lack of data from the sports commission and hence the researcher had to rely on the information from the various sports federations, facilities managers and patrons for vital information regarding the facilities. The researcher also encountered manpower and financial constraints due to the need for field assistants, which also came with much financial demands.

Research on access and utilization of sporting and recreation facilities in Nigeria (Salawu, 1984; Attah, 1986; Adamu, 1999, Ibrahim, 2004) are limited to campuses and also conducted as city case studies. The focus on sports tourism development in post event periods has not been adequately addressed. This constitutes the gap filled by the research.

In 1975, the Federal Military Government of Nigeria under the late head of state General Murtala Muhammad set up an eight-man panel under the late justice Akinola Agudato determine the desirability or otherwise of relocating the Federal Capital from Lagos. The Committee at the end of its assignment recommended the shift of the Federal Capital to a more conducive central location, which is today called Abuja. The name Abuja was taken from a major settlement at the edge of the Federal Capital Territory in the present Niger state, which was subsequently renamed as Suleja.

The Federal Capital Territory refers to all land located between latitude 8º25ꞌ and 9º25ꞌ north of the equator and longitude 6.45 and 7.45 east of Greenwich. It is carved out from three neighbouring states namely Niger, Plateau and Kwara states. It covers an area of about 8,000 square kilometres. The area is centrally located in the geographical centre of the Country. Accordingly, government white paper describes it as “a centrally located federal capital in a spacious area with easy access to all parts of the federation which would help in generating a new sense of National Unity.

The Federal Capital City is located on the Gwagwa plains in the north eastern quadrant of the Federal Capital Territory. It is bounded by the Abuja hills to the east and the Zango-kuku hills to the south. The site for the Federal Capital City was chosen for its location at the centre of the nation, its moderate climate, small population and also for political reason. The horse-shoe-shaped city has a central axis with the seat of the Nigerian government at its core as shown in Figure 1.1. On the other side of the central area, residential areas are divided into sectors by peripheral high ways.

The city was designed as an efficient and attractive environment at each stage of its growth. From Phase I, which was designed to accommodate 230,000 residents through Phase‟s II and III which were to accommodate 585,000 and 640,000 respectively, to Phase IV aimed to accommodate 1.7 million residents. The Federal Capital City is surrounded by Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje and Nasarawa state as shown in Figure 1.1.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 82 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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