What role do sporting spectacles play in the making of a 'world-class' city?Indy Dreams and Urban Nightmares reports on the conflict that arose between a Vancouver community and the civic boosters who wanted to move the Molson Indy Vancouver motorsport event to their neighbourhood park. Arguing that such events are simply a matter of economic and cultural 'common sense', the civic boosters promoted the Indy spectacle as a means of gaining 'world-class' status for the city. Against this background, Lowes explores the complex relations among major league sport, urban landscape, and civic identity. He argues that the capacity to articulate a city's 'vision' for itself is an important manifestation of power and ideology, and a notable point of struggle in contemporary urban life. This encompasses much larger issues related to the struggle over urban public space and the legitimacy of a particular narrative of urban growth and civic identity - one that increasingly privileges the consumer over the citizen.
Provocative and engaging, this study examines the impact of major sports events on urban centres, and shows how urban public culture is defined and shaped by competition for the right to conceptualize, control, and experience a city's public spaces.