The 2000 Sydney Olympics, fondly remembered as the “best games ever” by many Australians, marked a huge moment of national pride across the country.
For those working within the sporting industry, the outstanding organisation of the Sydney 2000 games demonstrated a best-case example of how professionals and sporting institutions can come together to successfully bid for and manage the world’s biggest events. It raised the profile of the nation, as a host for major international events.
Since then, Australia has hosted a growing number of large-scale national and international sports events across a broad range of world-class venues around the nation. Over the past several decades the sports sector has grown to play an important role in the economy of Australia and is now worth around $13.7 billion.
Australia is once again poised to enter into a 'Golden Decade of Sports'
Now with the 2032 Brisbane Olympics on the horizon, the next decade will be an exciting period of sports industry evolution and growth, with an exceptionally busy calendar already lined up for international and local sports events hosted in this country. In fact, there are 16 major international competitions lined up for the period 2023-2033, including:
- World Cups in Cricket, Football, Netball, Rugby
- World Championships in multiple sports
- The 2026 Commonwealth Games
- The 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games
These events bring employment opportunities, infrastructure development and the excitement of being able to attend events to host communities; plus, they raise our profile internationally and lead to economic growth.
Between 2012 and 2016 London hosted over 30 large-scale sporting events delivering an estimated £1.023 billion to the city’s economy. Sports industry growth projections for the coming years in Australia show an annual rate of 6.7%, resulting in a projected market volume of $302.64m by 2027.
As well as growing, the industry is also evolving. Many upcoming events, including the Brisbane Olympics, are already challenging industry norms, celebrating female and diverse athletes, and offering new, more environmentally sustainable ways of running sports events.
It’s going to be a great time to be in the sports industry.
The industry and its major venues, clubs and sports institutions, will require a whole lot of new talent and skilled professionals to manage the demands of the next Golden Decade. If you’re considering entering a career in sports management now, with the right education in Sports Management you will definitely be in high demand over the next decade.
The biggest upcoming Golden Decade of Sports events
2025-2035: Formula 1 joins Formula 2 and 3 in Melbourne
Last year it was announced that under a new agreement, the hugely popular Formula 1 racing competition will continue on the Melbourne and Albert Park circuit from 2025 to 2035. Plus, under the new ten-year agreement, from 2023 onwards the popular racing weekend schedule will also now include Formula 2 and Formula 3 as well as Formula 1: bringing these racing events together for the first time for one huge event.
March 2023: Kicking off the NRL and AFL season
This March, as usual, kicks off the season for Australia’s most popular national competitions, with the NRL having started with a bang on March second and the AFL kicking off on March 16. Both leagues are exploring expansion plans over the next decade. Football clubs and stadiums also provide some great training opportunities for aspiring sports managers, such as this Torrens University student who interned with the Penrith Panthers.
20 July – 20 August 2023: The FIFA Women’s World Cup
In 2023 Australia and New Zealand will host the biggest FIFA Women’s World Cup ever held anywhere in the world. Hosted across venues in capital cities in both countries, this exciting tournament will be the first to be in the Southern Hemisphere, the first to be co-hosted, and the first with 32 teams competing.
15 April – 21 April 2023: The World Transplant Games in Perth
The World Transplant Games is the world’s largest organ and tissue donation awareness event, and this year it’s going to be held in Western Australia. Over 3,000 transplant athletes from around the globe will be coming to Australia to take part in the games, which last over six days across several different venues. The event celebrates resilience and life after transplant.
1-6 October 2025: ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships
In 2025, the world’s best male and female canoeists will be coming here to Australia to compete for titles over six exciting days. Penrith in western Sydney will host the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, twenty-five years after it last hosted the event.
2026: BMX World Championships
AusCycling has won the right to host the UCI BMX World Championships for 2026. This exciting global event will bring over 3,000 of the world’s best BMX riders to Brisbane to compete. Competition for male and female elite and junior events will run over nine days. The competition will be held at the Sleeman Sports Complex, Australia’s only Olympic standard BMX Supercross track.
2026: Commonwealth Games
Another exciting event on the Golden Decade of Sports calendar is the 2026 Commonwealth Games, set to be held in Victoria for the second time in 20 years and in Australia for the 6th time in history. In an innovative first that’s great news for regional economies, this time the games will be held in regional areas: across the five regional hubs of Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Gippsland and Shepparton. Only the opening ceremony will be at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
2027: Rugby World Cup
Returning to Australia in 2027 for the first time in 40 years is the biggest global event in men’s Rugby: the Rugby World Cup. The event will bring teams from 20 of the world’s best men’s rugby nations to Australia, as they compete for the world title once again. Games will be held across capital cities for seven weeks, from September through to October.
2027: Netball World Cup
In 2027, Sydney won the right to host the Netball World Cup for the third time. The tournament brings together the world's best female netballers from 16 nations every four years for exciting competition over ten days.
2028: ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
Australia and New Zealand have won the bid to co-host the T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2028. The first T20 World Cup to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the event loved by cricket fans worldwide will bring 16 of the world's best men's cricket teams to compete for the title.
2029: Women’s Rugby World Cup
In another exciting ‘first’ on the Golden Decade of Sports calendar, Australia will host the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2029 for the very first time in history. The tournament is held in different competing nations every 4 years and will showcase 12 of the world’s best female rugby nations as they compete for the championship crown.
With two Rugby World Cups in three years for men’s and women’s competition, analysts expect the events to deliver a $2.8 billion economic windfall for Australia and boost grassroots rugby with an additional 30,000 sports participants expected as a flow-on effect. Rugby Australia is currently working with World Rugby and State and Territory Governments to finalise host cities and venues, so stay tuned for more information.
2032: Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games
Leaving the biggest event on the Golden Decade of Sports Calendar until last, it’s now time to mention the one we’re all waiting for: the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games. Millions of sports fans across Australia were thrilled when on 21 July 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) elected Brisbane to be the host of the 2032 Olympics.
For the first time since Sydney 2000, Australia will once again host this incredible event that will bring thousands of athletes from over 200 nations to our shores once again.
And, it’s not just sports fans that are excited. Local communities will benefit too, with investment funding through the Olympic Infrastructure Agency paying for a range of exciting new permanent facilities, public transport connections, sustainable developments, green infrastructure and revitalisation projects for the Brisbane area.
An independent economic assessment by KPMG shows the Games will deliver a total benefit of $8.1 billion for Queensland, and $17.61 billion for Australia in economic growth as a result of investment, development and tourism.
What the 'Golden Decade of Sports' means for aspiring sports business professionals
For sports professionals, the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics also represent a whole range of new career opportunities. It’s a rare chance to step into sports management, event operations and stadium roles on an Olympic scale. If you start your sports management career now, by the time the 2032 Olympics comes around you could be applying for work with the sporting organisations and facilities that support the biggest international event in the world.
Every great career in sports starts with a world-class education.