Sports and the city

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25 Scopus citations


This article reviews how sport has been engaged in urban geography and related fields. Across the social sciences, there has been an explosion of research on “sporting mega-events,” such as the Olympics and FIFA World Cup. While much of this scholarship has examined the effects of these events for cities and city residents, I emphasize a longer and deeper history of research on sports and the city. I trace three lines of inquiry to illuminate the broader state of the field: (1) sport, (post)colonialism, and modernity; (2) sports, identity, and belonging in the city; and (3) sport, neoliberalism, and urban transformation. Not limited to the work of geographers, this review considers important overlaps between sports geography, urban geography, and a number of other disciplines. I suggest that sports studies has just as much to offer urban geography as the other way around, and in closing, I point to some key directions that might deepen urban geographers' contribution to the interdisciplinary research on sport, as well as critical approaches to urbanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12360
JournalGeography Compass
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Social Sciences
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Atmospheric Science


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