Melbourne has been named winner of the 2014 SportsBusiness Ultimate Sports City, large city category, for the second time, and also recognised as the world leader in Sports Venues and in Event Strategy, at an Awards announcement at the SportAccord Convention in Turkey.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher MP, welcomed the news and commented on the benefit of major sporting events to the State.

“It is a huge achievement that Melbourne has been named the Ultimate Sports City in the 2014 SportsBusiness Ultimate Sports City Awards, large city category, for the second time.

“Major events are important to Melbourne and the Victorian Government continues to secure new sporting events and invest in world class sporting venues and facilities, ensuring we remain the sports capital of Australia.

“These events deliver significant economic benefit to Victoria through tourism and showcase our wonderful State to global audiences. The major events calendar also contributes to Melbourne’s liveability, offering Victorians outstanding opportunities to experience the world’s best in sport, at home,” Ms Asher said.

Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC) CEO, Brendan McClements thanked SportBusiness International for the honour granted to Melbourne, now a five-time winner in the Ultimate Sports City rankings, including three times in the overall category.

“From much loved annual events such as the Melbourne Cup Carnival and the Australian Open tennis to one-off sports events such as 2013’s Liverpool FC and British Lions tours and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, Melbourne delivers an event for every kind of sports lover, and it is a real honour to be recognised by SportBusiness International as being one of the world’s preeminent sporting cities.

“Winning the Best Events Strategy category demonstrates Melbourne’s coordinated approach to attracting major events through our strong event network and identifying and securing ‘best fit’ major international events that have strong appeal for Melbourne; just one part of our strategy to ensure Melbourne retains its competitive edge,” Mr McClements said.

SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City Head Judge Rachael Church-Sanders said: “Previously the Ultimate Sports City in 2006, 2008 and 2010, and runner up in 2012, although Australia’s Melbourne remains in second place overall, it is the best sports city in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere and has taken first place in the ‘Large’ cities category of the awards which is an excellent achievement.

“Melbourne continues to raise the bar when it comes to delivering major events and this is reflected in its continued presence at the top of the Ultimate Sports City rankings year after year.”

Other cities shortlisted for the Ultimate Sports City large city category were Berlin, Cape Town, Singapore, and Sydney, with Melbourne placed second to London in the overall rankings.

The major criteria for the Awards are the size and volume of hosted events with venues, transport and infrastructure, accommodation, event strategy, governmental and public support, legacy, quality of life, security and promotion ability of the city also taken into account.