Latest News

Back to Latest News back


International ranking puts Sydney above Melbourne as Australia’s top sporting city

International ranking puts Sydney above Melbourne as Australia’s top sporting city
February 11, 2019

Melbourne’s self-appointed title as the sporting capital of the world has been usurped by London, according to a survey that rates Sydney ahead of the Victorian capital in a global list of 50 cities.

London, the host of the 2012 Summer Olympics, came in at the top in the 2019 Ranking of Sports Cities by BCW Sports, who describe themselves as “one of the world’s largest full service global communications agencies.”

The survey, which focussed on the viewpoints of International Sporting Federations and global sports media, ranked Melbourne at 15th, having been placed 11th in the previous two surveys.

Sydney, which hosted the Summer Olympics 44 years after Melbourne’s 1956 Games, came in 11th, after being placed sixth and seventh the previous two years.

Although Melbourne hosts January’s Australian Open, one of four grand slam tennis tournaments, as well as the Formula One Grand Prix, these events were not enough to elevate the Victorian capital above Sydney in a survey that relied heavily on international recognition.

The BCW Sports survey also relied heavily on the digital environment, using the total number of mentions of the word ‘sport’ and a city. Previously, the results were based on an online survey sent to a group of experts.

The change in methodology meant that Madrid moved from 29th to eighth and Manchester rose from 35th to 10th

Olympic Games hosting weighed heavily in the results with London finishing first for the third consecutive year; Los Angeles, the 2028 Olympic host ranking second for the second year in a row; and Paris, the 2024 host, coming third.

Tokyo, the 2020 host city, moved from fifth to fourth, swapping places with Lausanne, the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee.

Commenting on the results, City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp, stated “Melbourne is the undisputed sports capital of Australia.

“Melbourne has just played host to more than 780,000 fans from across the world during the two-week Australian Open grand slam, smashing previous attendance records. Motoring fans will be next to flock to our great city for the Formula One Grand Prix in March and, come September, we will host the AFL Grand Final.

“Regardless of what one survey may say, there is no better place than Melbourne for sports fans year-round.”

Melbourne has frequently topped the rankings in SportBusiness' Ultimate Sports City Awards.

Image: Sydney Olympic Park.

Related Articles

10th February 2019 - Tokyo 2020 organisers highlight measures being taken to prevent repeat of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games cyber attack

29th January 2019 - Record 780,000 fans share the excitement of the 2019 Australian Open

14th August 2018 - Melbourne loses status as world’s most liveable city

13th March 2018 - Business groups back Sydney Stadium rebuilds as key to attracting major sporting events

19th May 2017 - Major sporting events driving millions of visits to Sydney

21st April 2016 - Auckland and Melbourne achieve multiple wins at 2016 Ultimate Sports City Awards

22nd January 2016 - Four Australian and New Zealand cities compete in 2016 Ultimate Sports City Awards

31st August 2015 - Melbourne wins most liveable city title for the fifth year running

4th February 2015 - Sporting events boost hotel occupancy

24th May 2012 - Singapore named Asia’s ultimate sports city

12th November 2009 - Melbourne Retains ‘Ultimate Sports City’ Status

24th April 2008 - F1 Grand Prix - The World’s Most Valuable Annual Sporting Events

2nd April 2008 - Melbourne retains ultimate sports city title

21st April 2008 - Melbourne remains the ‘Ultimate Sports City’

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology


TouchCloud Global

Activating skyscapes for tourism, art, leisure and living TouchCloud Global (TCg) is a highly specialised international consultancy, broker and principal, devoted solely to activating and energising…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Recreation / Safety / Tourism



At EventPro Software, we are proudly different from our industry competitors. We have a development-driven culture and 20 years’ experience in event, venue, and catering management software,…

read more

Events / Hospitality / Technology / Ticketing / Venues



Intelligenz solutions provide integrated software for Wellness, Spa, Fitness, Leisure Centres, Recreation Activities, Resort and Restaurant Management.

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology


Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues


Pico Play

Pico is a global leader in Total Brand Activation. We specialise in engaging people, creating experiences and activating brands. Leveraging a track record in experience design that spans half a…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Venues



Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…

read more

Attractions / Security / Technology / Ticketing / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business