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This paper sought to examine the stakeholder network governance structures of two international and two domestic multisports events focusing on (a) exploring the structural connectedness of these networks and (b) illuminating powerful stakeholders vis-à-vis centrality and the ability to control the network’s flow. An exploratory, comparative case study design was built by means of 58 interviews and 550 archival materials. Findings highlight international sports events are sparsely connected networks with power concentrated in the organizing committee, government, and venue stakeholders, who broker coordination with other stakeholders. In contrast, domestic sport event organizing committees appear more decentralized as coordinating actors: Sport organizations, sponsors, and community-based stakeholders emerged as highly connected, powerful stakeholders. Domestic event governance decentralization highlights a potential imbalance in stakeholder interests through network flow control by multiple actors, while the governments’ centrality in international events demonstrates not only mode-dependent salience but also visibility/reputational risks and jurisdictional responsibilities-based salience.
Michael L. Naraine, Jessie Schenk, and Milena M. Parent are with the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Parent is also with the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences.