PtG Article 20.02.2023

Next Play the Game conference to be held in Trondheim, Norway, 4-7 February 2024

Co-hosted by the NTNU Business School, the next edition of Play the Game’s conference is set to focus on winter sport and climate change in addition to classic themes like sports governance and geopolitics.

Although the participants at Play the Game 2024 can expect to be kept warm and dry in the shelter of the Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, more attention than usual will probably be directed towards the winter weather outside when 300-400 sports political enthusiasts gather from 4-7 February 2024 in Trondheim:

Will it be freezing, will it rain, or will it snow?

Global warming affects especially – but not exclusively – winter sports worldwide and discussing the interaction between the sports industry and climate change comes naturally when Play the Game holds its 13th international conference at the heart of Norway, a country whose culture of physical activity is inextricably linked to its climatic and geographical conditions.

At the same time, the sports political climate is heating up under the impression of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Play the Game 2024 will as always bring leading experts from all fields of sports governance and politics together in cutting edge debates about the state of world sport.

The Trondheim conference is co-hosted by the NTNU Business School at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology – a university that features experts both within sports business, major events, and climate.

“We are proud to have been awarded the Play the Game conference in 2024,” says Harry Arne Solberg, professor at NTNU Business School.

“Over the years Play the Game has addressed the most important issues in the world of sports, including the threats towards good governance, the challenges of upholding ethical standards, strengthening of democracy and transparency, and promoting freedom of speech. These are issues that have never been more relevant than now.”

In addition to its own resources, NTNU has gathered support from a wide range of stakeholders to secure its co-hosting of Play the Game 2024, including the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Equality. Support from other institutions is currently being negotiated.

Norwegians speak up

NTNU was originally bidding to host the 2021 conference, but COVID-restrictions blocked inspection visits to Trondheim. Back then, NTNU was promised to be given the possibility to place a sole bid to host the next Play the Game conference outside Denmark.

The international director of Play the Game, Jens Sejer Andersen, is delighted that a Play the Game conference can finally go to Norway.

“Norwegian athletes and officials have a strong tradition for speaking up about the ethical challenges and democratic deficits that modern sport is facing. And as a country, Norway is a leader in promoting diversity and global solidarity, something that in return should inspire the content of Play the Game 2024.”

Aside from climate change, the dynamics of international sports politics make it impossible to predict the exact issues that will be brought up one year in advance, but in general terms Play the Game’s international conference will always focus on major geopolitical and governance challenges, antidoping, sustainability of mega-events, and the fight against various forms of abuse.

Over the next weeks, Play the Game will appoint a broadly composed programme committee whose role is to advise about and inspire the content of the conference.

The conference venue and hotel will be the Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel in the city centre of Trondheim, with state-of-the-art conference facilities and recently renovated spacious rooms.

The call for papers and registration page will be opened during spring 2023 with updated prices and other practical information. You can keep yourself updated by signing up to Play the Game’s free newsletter.

Read more about Play the Game 2024