Mass sport participation has received considerable attention in the recent sport management literature. However, little is known about sport spectatorship as an outcome of sports mega-events (SMEs). This is the first study to use cross-cultural analysis to examine the relationship between the 2002 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup Korea/Japan and current football spectatorship in the host countries. In the context of SMEs, this study uses the psychological construct of nostalgia as a mediator to identify the relationship with spectatorship. Data from 416 and 408 respondents from South Korea and Japan, respectively, were collected through online surveys and analysed cross-culturally using Hayes’ PROCESS macro model 4. We find that the nostalgia evoked by the 2002World Cup has positively influenced the host nations’ current football spectatorship. While this SME has a strong impact on evoking nostalgia, the effect of nostalgia on spectator behaviour is significant, yet comparatively weak.
ASJC Scopus subject areas