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Competing at major sport events represents a significant experience for elite athletes. Research has determined that event services can affect athlete satisfaction, yet little is known about any influence on athlete performances. This study adapted the lens of transformative service research to examine, through survey research, the athletes’ perceptions of the impact that the service environment of the Commonwealth Games 2018 on the Gold Coast in Australia had on their satisfaction and subsequent performance. The results from 430 athlete surveys showed the significant relationships between service environment factors and athlete satisfaction and the indirect effects of the service environment on performance, through satisfaction. Thus, satisfaction acts as a mediator between the service environment and athlete performance. The effects of the service environment on athlete satisfaction and performance highlight the areas for future development across the athletes’ experience, from accommodations to social activities, that managers and event planners can enhance.
MacIntosh and Kinoshita are with the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Sotiriadou is with the Department of Tourism, Leisure, Hotel and Sport Management, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.