Yes, sport is a real heavyweight in the economy. According to a study by the research department of the banking group BPCE, in 2020 its total weight will be 90.9 billion euros (adding the budget of sports associations to the turnover of sports companies). In their new study, titled “local authorities, the first sponsors of sports”The BPCE Observatory has this time focused on public funding for sports, emphasizing the defining role of local authorities. Each year they contribute €12.5bn, almost double the budget of the Paris Olympic Games in 2024. This represents 60% of all public support, estimated at €20bn – the latter including, for example, the budget of the Ministry of Sports (1bn euros) and salaries of sports teachers (5.5 billion euros).
Municipalities owning 73% of French sports equipment
The municipalities are primarily involved in sports, allocating 8 billion euros per year – the second item of expenditure after formation – compared to 3.1 billion euros allocated by the inter-municipal authorities, with the remaining 1.4 billion euros coming from departments and regions. To the credit of municipalities: support for sports associations (360,000 in France) and professional clubs, management and organization of sports events, relations with the school world or equipment management. They also own 73% of the 318,000 sports facilities listed in France.
“We noticed that construction and repair work has been going on for 25 years.– emphasizes Alain Turgeman, director of research at the BPCE group. Since 1995, more than 50% of the operating equipment has been put into operation or reconstructed. But there is still much to be done. A third of them were built before 1985 and were not reconstructed, i.e. about 1,800 swimming pools, 12,000 gyms and 5,000 multifunctional halls.. In 2009, the Court of Accounts estimated the amount needed to renovate France’s sporting heritage at 21 billion euros – 6 billion euros to bring it up to standard and 15 billion euros to adapt equipment to practitioners’ new expectations. A figure that has certainly grown thirteen years later.
“The expectations of practitioners are changing, now their priority is sports for health, not sports for performance. They need flexibility and are increasingly attracted to home practice.”
According to Cyril Clope, director of the National Association of Elected Officials in Charge of Sports (ANDES), local authorities, who thus own most of the facilities, “hold the keys to the future of sport in France”. “We face inevitable problems such as climate; we must already anticipate and accelerate the energy transition of sports venues. » Alain Turgeman rightly points out that out of a quarter of the equipment heated in France, more than half is heated by gas.
And (other) problems are many. “Elected officials testify to a change in sports practice.notes Alain Turgeman. Practitioners’ expectations are changing, now their priority is sports for well-being, and not sports for performance. They need flexibility and are increasingly attracted to home practice. » Virgil Caillé, General Delegate of Union Sport & Cycle, confirms this overall change in sports consumption. “The French have gone to municipal institutions or associations, some now prefer to train outdoors or in separate rooms. The sports offer must be adapted to the current use. »
250 million euros to strengthen the place of sport in the territories
Last September, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, promised to create 5,000 sports equipment manufacturers in France with the aim of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024. In the next two years to strengthen the place of sports in the territories. And instead of funding big stadiums or swimming pools, this plan wants to prioritize the creation of multi-purpose sports fields, 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 Sports Agency (ANS), ANDES, CNOSF, the French Paralympic and Sports Committee and Union Sport et Cycle, will be made public in early May next year. The sports revolution seems to be in full swing.