TODAY.AZ / Baku-2015

Baku 2015 opening show increases interest to competitions - poll

24 June 2015 [14:23] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Nigar Orujova

The magnificent opening ceremony of the first European Games resulted in a spike in interest in the competitions. Some European officials recognize that the ceremony at the National Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan surpassed even the level of the summer Olympic Games.

A poll conducted by the Rey Monitoring Center among 1,500 respondents aged 18 and older from June 13 to 15, showed that Azerbaijanis put the ceremony in high regard.

Based on the results of the survey, the opening ceremony aroused great interest from the local population. A poll conducted on June 14-15, 2014, showed that only half of respondents expressed their intent to watch the Games, but after the opening event, 82 percent of respondents stated that they would keep an eye on the competitions, the Center reported.

The Baku 2015 European Games is an innovative competition that has gathered over 6,000 athletes from 50 countries to compete in 20 sports. Twelve sports are officially recognized as qualifiers for 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The magnificent opening ceremony of the Games, held at the brand new Olympic Stadium in Baku, gathered some 68,000 spectators. The event covered the captivating history and art of Azerbaijan, and a performance by pop diva Lady Gaga made it even more astonishing.

Among those who watched the opening of the Games 93 percent watched the broadcast on TV, six percent on the Internet, and about one percent directly viewed it in the stadium.

The survey showed that the opening ceremony evoked pride for the country in 77 percent of respondents, while 13 percent enjoyed the opportunity to watch a competition of such level.

Only four percent noted that they were indifferent to the opening ceremony, and only two percent of respondents said the ceremony provoked irritation and discontent.

Over 80 percent of the respondents stressed that they will follow the events, and 12 percent said they are not fans of sport. Another eight percent of respondents have not yet decided whether they would watch the Games at the time of the survey.

The majority of those who were going to follow the Games — 91 percent — planned to watch the events on television, and the rest, to support athletes at the stadium.

According to 75 percent of respondents, the European Games are not only just a great sporting event, but also another opportunity to show Azerbaijan to the world, so the costs are justified.

Only nine percent believe these costs are excessive, and 16 percent found it difficult to say anything on the matter, said the Center.

About 79 percent of respondents share the belief that the creation of infrastructure for the European games not only empowers sport, but also serves as investment in the future of the country. Only five percent of respondents disagree with this, 16 percent of respondents neither agree nor disagree.

The Center also asked the respondents their opinions on the information war against Azerbaijan for conducting the European Games. Some 67 percent indicated that the government is winning the information war, and only six percent believe that the authorities are losing the battle. Twenty seven percent found it difficult to comment on this issue.

The survey also revealed that most of the respondents are optimistic about the idea of holding the Islamic Solidarity Games in Azerbaijan in 2017. About 83 percent of respondents have a positive attitude, and only nine percent express a negative opinion. Another eight percent found it difficult to answer this question.

The opening ceremony led to a great interest in the closing ceremony as well, which was sold out days after the opening night.


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