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Local authorities faced with the transformation of sport

Yes, sport is a real heavyweight in the economy. According to a study by the research department of the BPCE banking group in 2020, it would weigh an overall of €90.9 billion (by adding the budget of sports associations to the turnover of sports companies). In his new study titled “local authorities, the first funders of sport”, BPCE The Observatory this time focused on the public financing of sport, highlighting the determining role of local authorities. Each year, their contribution amounts to €12.5 billion, i.e. almost twice the budget of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. This represents 60% of all public support, estimated at €20 billion – the latter includes, for example, the budget of the Ministry of Sports (€1 billion) and the salaries of sports teachers (€5.5 billion).

Municipalities owning 73% of French sports equipment

Municipalities primarily carry the sporting effort with €8 billion disbursed per year – the second item of expenditure after education – compared to the €3.1 billion allocated by intermunicipal authorities, the remaining €1.4 billion coming from departments and regions. To the credit of the municipalities: support for sports associations (360,000 in France) and professional clubs, the management and organization of sporting events, relations with the school world or the management of equipment. They also own 73% of the 318,000 sports facilities listed in France.

“We have observed that a construction and renovation effort has been carried out for 25 yearsemphasizes Alain Tourdjman, director of research for the BPCE group. More than 50% of current equipment has been commissioned or renovated since 1995. But there is still much to do. A third of them were built before 1985 and have not been rehabilitated, i.e. approximately 1,800 swimming pools, 12,000 gymnasiums and 5,000 multi-purpose halls”. In 2009, the Court of Auditors estimated the amount needed to renovate France’s sports heritage at €21 billion – €6 billion to bring it up to standard and €15 billion to adapt equipment to the new expectations of practitioners. A figure that has certainly grown, thirteen years later.

“The expectations of practitioners are changing, their priority is now towards well-being sport rather than performance sport. They want flexibility and are increasingly attracted to a home-connected practice”

Cyril Cloup, Director of the National Association of Elected Officials in Charge of Sport (ANDES)

For Cyril Cloup, director of the National Association of Elected Officials in Charge of Sport (ANDES), the local authorities, which therefore hold a majority of the facilities, “hold the keys to the future of sport in France”. “We have before us unavoidable issues such as the climate; we must already anticipate and accelerate the energy transition of sports venues. » Alain Tourdjman rightly points out that out of a quarter of equipment heated in France, more than half is heated by gas.

And the (other) challenges are many. “The elected officials attest to a change in the practice of sportpoints out Alain Tourdjman. The expectations of practitioners are changing, their priority is now towards well-being sport rather than performance sport. They want flexibility and are increasingly drawn to a home-connected practice. » Virgile Caillet, General Delegate of Union Sport & Cycle, confirms this general change in the consumption of sport. “The French went to municipal facilities or associations, some now favor training outdoors or in private rooms. The sports offer must be readjusted to current uses. »

€250 million to strengthen the place of sport in the territories

Last September, the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron promised a plan to create 5,000 sports equipment manufacturers in France with a view to holding the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024. Nearly €250 million will be spent over the next two years to strengthen the place of sport in the territories. And rather than financing large stadiums or swimming pools, this plan wants to give priority to the creation of multi-sports grounds, dojos, 3×3 basketball courts, padel courts or skate parks.

A study on the expectations and needs of sports stakeholders in France, commissioned by the National Sport Agency (ANS), ANDES, CNOSF, the French Paralympic and Sports Committee and the Union Sport et Cycle, will be unveiled early next May. The sports revolution seems to be underway.

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