The World Games 2017, held in Wrocław, Poland, attracted 240,000 spectators and generated US$23 million in direct economic impact to the local economy, according to a study conducted by Sportcal.

The analysis, conducted as part of Sportcal’s Global Sports Impact (GSI) Event Studies Programme, looks at a range of impact indicators and examines the economic, tourism, media, sponsorship, sporting and social benefits of hosting the event. 

Sportcal was commissioned to undertake the study by the International World Games Association, the Wrocław Organising Committee and the Local Organising Committee of The World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama. It was the first time in the history of The World Games, which began in 1981, that a study had been conducted by an independent partner to examine the impact of the multi-sports event. 

The World Games 2017 took place in Wrocław, Poland on 20-30 July. Wrocław hosted 3,292 athletes from 103 nations who competed in 31 sports (27 official sports and four invitational sports) and 222 medal events, with 1,618 volunteers supporting the delivery of the event.

According to the study, TWG 2017 was televised by 30 broadcasters on five continents with a potential reach of 115 territories. Additionally, the IOC’s Olympic Channel provided live streaming worldwide.

Numerous educational and community programmes, engaging more than 20,000 children, youth and adults, were organised in the lead-up to the Games to encourage sport participation. The city of Wrocław made use of the Games to refurbish its Olympic Stadium and build a new 50-metre swimming pool and a roller skating track. These venues have become part of the event legacy, are now available for community use and will enable the staging of local sports events in Wrocław.

Commenting on the study, Joachim Gossow, CEO of the International World Games Association, said: “We asked for this study to learn more about the impact of our event and to evaluate how to improve the project further on. We established our own evaluation tools for the Games years ago, but it was our idea to bring in the perspective of neutral experts as well and compare ourselves with other multi-sports events. It turned out that TWG 2017 was a success not only for athletes and spectators, because of the atmosphere. We can now also deliver the numbers to prove the impact in terms of media coverage or awareness of sponsors.”

Earlier this month, the International World Games Association began the search for a host for the 2025 edition of the Games. Joachim Gossow said of this recently launched bidding process: “We are convinced that the study will help potential bidding cities to assess the value of The World Games.”  

Mike Laflin, CEO of Sportcal, added: “We would like to thank the IWGA, the international federations, the organising committee and the city of Wrocław for their tremendous support and assistance in the production of the GSI study. The study shows that TWG 2017 generated a huge holistic impact for Wrocław in terms of economic, media, sporting and social impact. Through the study we were able to identify the true objectives of each stakeholder and to show how many of these objectives were delivered through the event. The study has helped IWGA understand more about the positive and negative impacts of the TWG 2017 and to help it plan and prepare for Birmingham 2021.”

For further information on the study, The World Games 2017 and the GSI Event Studies Programme, contact



A total of 240,000 people attended TWG 2017. This comprised 163,355 event spectators and over 76,000 visitors at TWG Plaza. The event delivered US$23 million of economic impact to the local economy.


39% of all spectators came from outside Wrocław and 10% from overseas. On average, spectators attended the event for three days. Spectator spend was estimated at $6.2 million.


A total of 30 broadcasters showed the event coverage, generating 1,919 hours of broadcast hours. The total cumulative audience of TWG 2017 amounted to 94.21 million viewers. There were 1,259 accredited media present at TWG 2017.


Over a period of 25 days (from seven days pre- to post-event) the event social media accounts contributed to 1,467 posts, 88,788 likes and favourites, 6,942 shares/retweets and 1,622 comments.


97% of spectators had a positive experience from attending the event. More than half of the participants rated TWG 2017 better than other similar events they have attended.


The event was supported by a total of 16 partners. German supermarket chain Kaufland was the general sponsor of TWG 2017 and 92%were aware of the partnership. 


TWG 2017 featured 3,292 athletes representing 103 countries from all six continents. There were a total of 2,174 officials for the event. Russia was ranked first in the medal table at TWG 2017 and European nations won 65% of all medals.


The event was supported by 1,618 volunteers, including 18% from overseas. Educational and participation initiatives were held for both adults and children. Most of these were grassroots initiatives, supported by TWG 2017.


TWG 2017 generated tangible economic, tourism and social benefits for the host city. New venues were built in the city in the lead-up to the Games: a swimming pool complex and a roller skating track.