In a Canadian Press story published May 29 in The Globe and Mail, U of G Prof. Norm O’Reilly cautioned against projections of a massive financial boom in Alberta if Edmonton serves as a NHL playoff hub city.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney touted the playoff hub idea as a “key part in the economic relaunch of Alberta.” But O’Reilly, director of the International Institute for Sport Business and Leadership at U of G, downplayed the financial benefits, indicating that economic impact studies are often overly inflated.
“You get these garbage studies done, it just makes everybody look worse and worse and worse,” said O’Reilly, a professor in the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics.
O’Reilly suggested that those promoting Edmonton’s host bid should think about highlighting other, non-financial benefits, including whether hosting would put the city in a better light.
A leading scholar in the business of sport, O’Reilly studies marketing, sponsorship, sport finance, social marketing and tourism management.