GSI Cities Index 2019: Tokyo retain "Global Sports City" title for second consecutive year ahead of Paris and Budapest
by Colin Stewart
Tokyo, Japan, has opened up a significant gap at the top of Sportcal’s GSI Cities Index 2019, retaining the title of Global Sports City. Lima, Abu Dhabi, Glasgow and Budapest are the biggest climbers in the top 20, while Helsinki and London lose ground.
30th April 2019, 13:00

Sportcal’s data-driven GSI Nations Index has analysed 718 world championships and multisport games in 83 sports for 2019. Using a proprietary methodology developed by the Global Sports Impact (GSI) Project, core event data is analysed in order to produce a GSI Event Rating for each event. The GSI Event Rating is then weighted and attributed to host cities and nations across a 14-year time period, creating the sports industry’s original and most comprehensive ranking of sports host destinations. 

Tokyo now holds a near-4,000 point lead on second place Paris which climbs two positions. Budapest climbs four places to claim third and also has the largest number of events to its name (16).


The full GSI Cities Index 2019, ranking 641 cities, can be viewed here. Further detail is available to subscribers.

Tokyo will host matches during this year’s Rugby World Cup 2019 as well as hosting a number of world championships in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games resulting in its significant lead.

Rio de Janeiro continues to fall down the Index having failed to secure any future scoring events other than the Pan-American Masters Games in 2020. Doha, Qatar holds fifth position after being awarded the IJF World Championships in 2023, the year after the city will host matches from the Fifa World Cup 2022.

London falls four places to sixth position due to the Index moving in to the 2013-2026 period, therefore losing the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games from its total. Moscow also falls one position to seventh whilst Beijing moves up to eighth ahead of Copenhagen in ninth.

Minsk rounds out the top 10 in the year it hosts the European Games and will also co-host the IIHF World Championships in 2021 with Riga, Latvia.

There is also plenty of change from 11th to 20th as Nanjing and Kazan fall one position although remain ahead of Sochi which retains 13th. 

Glasgow, rising five positions to 14th, and Abu Dhabi, rising 22 positions to 15th, are two of the biggest climbers alongside Lima in 17th, which moves up 31 places in the year of the Pan American Games, one place behind Baku in 16th.

Glasgow was awarded the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships 2023 whilst Abu Dhabi hosted this year’s Special Olympics and will also host world championships in ju-jitsu, swimming and triathlon in the coming years.

The top 20 concludes with Pyeongchang (18th), Helsinki (19th) and Innsbruck (20th).

GSI Nations and Cities Index Methodology

The GSI Nations and Cities Index is based on in-depth analysis of major multisport games and world championships over a rolling 14-year period, covering seven years in the past (including the current year) and seven years in the future. In total, 90 nations and 641 cities have hosted, or are scheduled to host events during this period.

Bids awarded up to and including 1 April 2019 have been included in the 2019 index.

Each event is given a weighting based on its Global Sports Impact (GSI) Event Rating – this rating is calculated using the latest event data across a range of indicators which measures the size, scale and impact of an event.

The GSI Event Ratings are then attributed to the host nations and cities, producing the GSI Nations and Cities Index. A time weighting is given, so that events in the current year are worth 100 per cent of the rating value, while events in previous or future years are worth less.

The April 2019 index further increased the number of events analysed with 730 events across 156 categories, in 83 sports, including summer and winter Olympic sports and Olympic ‘recognised’ sports.