GaWC Project 68

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Global Tennis: Holding Events in Appropriate Cities

Funded by: International Tennis Federation (commissioned by Head of Event Operations) (2007)

Consultant at GaWC: Peter Taylor



Every year the International Tennis Federation has to agree with various national tennis associations on which cities will host approximately 80 Davis Cup ties and 30 Federation Cup ties. Ties are held in countries across the world and therefore criteria are needed to ensure appropriate cities are selected. At present there is a general preference for capital cities but for many countries other cities may be more appropriate (in Australia , Brazil , Canada , etc.). At present there is a “Minimum Standards” approach (stadium size, international airport, etc.) but this approach needs narrowing down: an ordering of cities in terms of suitability for holding this large number of ‘global sports events' is required.


It is quite common for host countries, even at advanced stages of the competitions, not to have any city that is usually considered as a ‘world city' suitable for staging a global sports event. Therefore it is necessary to consider a large number of cities from across the world so as to include all likely candidate cities. The GaWC World City Network projects cover 315 cities and therefore provide a suitable size roster of cities. We use the latest results from the 2004 measurement exercise.

Global network connectivities are used as surrogate measures of ‘world-city-ness' and are deemed to be a suitable index for use by the ITF. This is justified as follows:

  1. The measures derive from the activities of cutting edge economic actors in contemporary economic globalization (advanced producer services)
  2. The measures reflect the economic vibrancy of cities – the places ‘where the action is' in globalization
  3. Global sports events are a dimension of this city ‘action'
  4. Therefore global network connectivity defines one important dimension of the suitability of a city to host a global sports event


The 315 cities of the World City Network projects are ranked in terms of their global network connectivities in 2004. From this ordering the following categories of cities are identified as input to the ITF's considerations of contestant cities.

  1. The Global Cities (number in this category: 2)
  2. Leading World Cities (5)
  3. Major World Cities (11)
  4. World Cities (87)
  5. Cities with reasonable aspirations to world-city-ness (120)
  6. Other cities (84)
  7. Definitely not suitable cities (6)

Gradations are provided in locating each city in a category.