An exploration of the potential sociological and physical impacts of event venue redevelopments on community relations: a case study of Heart of Midlothian F.C Stadium Development
In recent years, sporting events have grown in significance in the daily lives of individuals, presenting opportunities to construct unforgettable experiences for attendees. This has generated an increasing focus on the social impacts of such events and the physical changes that can transform the host community. Development of sports venues and facilities is increasingly used as a justification for event hosting and this study examined the sociological and physical impacts on community relations. Despite the vast literature surrounding mega-event impacts, outcomes of local sports infrastructure projects are under researched in event management materials. Semi-structured interviews were conducted following a qualitative approach to establish an in-depth understanding of the research problem based on participants’ unique insights and experiences. Through a constant comparative method (CCM) strategy to analyse collected data, sociological outcomes of psychic value, psychic impact and psychic income were found to positively affect relations in the host community. Intangible outcomes included the sense of community fostered through the establishment of pride in the area, an instilled devotion to the local team and the creation of meaningful social experiences. Ultimately, whether attending an event or improving one’s personal well-being, these outcomes resulted from involvement in sporting facilities and venues. Physical impacts are also explored to determine tangible outcomes on the host community. Finally, where limitations were found within this project, recommendations are made to contribute to best practice in future research.