A Legacy of Legacies: limitations of the future perfect

Gammon, Sean James orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5053-8763 (2015) A Legacy of Legacies: limitations of the future perfect. Annals of Leisure Research, 18 (4). pp. 445-449. ISSN 1174-5398

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11745398.2015.1116401


Grammarians will happily inform us that the future perfect tense refers to some form of action which will be completed and/or perfected at some point in the future. Event legacies (particularly relating to sports events) arguably represent the most ambitious of a future perfect; predicting extraordinary outcomes that are often promised to take place at some unspecified date. Many of these positive externalities are leisure-related and could, for example, include targets associated with participation increases in a particular activity or in the use of a particular facility. Unsurprisingly, the bigger the event the grander the legacy promises such as those associated with significant urban regeneration plans and the consequent impacts that such developments would have on the quality of the lives of those that live in and around the designated site (Smith 2012). To what extent such promises are kept is dependent upon numerous variables – though the critical determining factor stems from how the term legacy is understood and operationalized. The ambiguity of the term has meant that even stakeholders involved in the same event will have differing ideas and interpretations of what legacy actually means. Consequently, this brief commentary will explore how event legacies are currently perceived, what their limitations are, and what needs to be put in place in the future – perhaps equating to an ambitious legacy promise of its own.

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