Is hosting a major sporting events a blessing or a curse?

Cities worldwide compete to win hosting rights for the Olympics and other major sporting event but are the potential effects on the economy and countries reputation worth it?

When Vancouver won the Winter Olympics they hoped it would be the best games ever. But with the death of a competitor, ticket woes, a string of errors and being blighted by bad weather there has been increased criticism about shortcomings at the games.

Blogger Jay Mariotti writes ‘Canada Shaming Itself at Stormy Olympics’ and tells Vancouver, ‘Between a fatality on the luge track, the incessant rain, the delays on the ski hills and those scary protests in which crazies wear masks and break windows at fancy department stores, you seem unfit to host the Games.’

John Furlong, Vancouver’s chief executive officer, says that the failures need to be kept in perspective.  And agrees this blogger  and has nothing but good things to say.

Managing public relations is difficult at large sporting events as the organises of the World Cup in South Africa are finding out. They recently came under criticism after the attack on the Togo football team during the Africa Cup of Nations despite the fact it wasn’t even in South Africa.

But China’s success at hosting the 2008 Olympic Games is proof that sporting events can be used to improve a countries image.

Reputation aside there is also the question of whether sporting events are economically viable. Here it’s argued that there are many economic advantage to hosting large sporting events. But the games in Greece are remembered for the financial fiasco it created and the Olympic buildings that now stand unused.

The cost of hosting sporting events is high as London, which is hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, is finding out. Whilst organises and supports hope that hosting the games will regenerate East London people doubt is already being cast over the reality of this.

So are hosting large sporting events a good thing for a country?  Would you want your country to host the next Olympics? Or the next World Cup?

19 Responses to “Is hosting a major sporting events a blessing or a curse?”

  1. February 18, 2010 at 12:33

    As sure as day follows night its a curse on the whole country, Work places demolished to build a tempory village which will be demolished.Existing venues not being used ie Bisley Windsor. It is not even being built by Englishmen,The coming chaos with transport security privileged lanes not for locals.A budget we wont here the truth about all for the egos of a few MPs & sports personalitys. I resent a single penny of my money being wasted on it.

  2. February 18, 2010 at 12:47

    I think it can make or break a countries wealth.

  3. 3 Idris Dangalan
    February 18, 2010 at 12:52

    Is bless to strong countries but for the poorest nation is burden

  4. 4 Bob in Queensland
    February 18, 2010 at 12:56

    It can break a country’s (or at least a city’s) wealth but is there any evidence at all that the “legacy” or even the publicity is at all cost effective? With all the hassles, why would any city want to stage the Olympics or any major sporting event?

  5. February 18, 2010 at 13:02

    Hosting a major sporting event is a real challenge but a real blessing. First of all winning the bid to host the games is a real honour. The massive planning and the coordination all have to be carefully executed. Of course the fruits of careful planning are enormous. The boon to tourism and the economy are exponential. The land developed for the Games would generate real value if exploited astutely.One just needs to take a leaf out of the organisation of the Olympic Games. Everything has to be carefully planned to ensure the events go clock-work. Tourism would be given a real boost.

  6. February 18, 2010 at 13:24

    Yes. No doubt its a blessing for a country or a city to host some mega sports event. Their are many reasons for it the most important is that people of that country get a chance to have rich entertainment. On the other hand it provides an economic sport to that country. It makes that country a part of positive history and motivates the young generation to participate in healthy activities.
    For example, IPL held in South Africa last year and proved all the above mentioned facts.

  7. 7 Nengak
    February 18, 2010 at 14:06

    Depends who you ask.
    The ‘Managers’ of the event get a lot of dollars to share around and get to earn fat bonuses.
    Ordinary citizens get kicked up and down from their lands, businesses to make room for the tournament.
    Somewhere in between are the ordinary residents who dont care what is going on in their city.
    I will love to always fall in the last category.

  8. 8 gary indiana
    February 18, 2010 at 14:16

    Well of course it doesn’t benefit a country to host huge sporting events like the Olympics, just as it doesn’t benefit them to host wars, earthquakes, plague epidemics, or city-sized rocks crashing in from outer space. This sort of thing has been going now from dawn of civilization, yet most people are oblivious to it! The larger the money stream, the more can be skimmed-off the top. The self-serving two percent will spend billions of ordinary folks’ money to rake in millions. The clever thieves steal pennies from everyone! The worth of the event isn’t the point; the profit is! Schools, hospitals, bridges, real play grounds, manufacturing facilities, more efficient public transport, utilities upgrades, cancer research, and many another are all more useful projects. However, the sports viewing population is so easily convinced laser lights, sparkly costumes, enormously useless arenas, and plated pot metal discs dangling from polyester ribbon make this waste more satisfying than watching the neighborhood kids at the local soccer field. They don’t of course. Most folks need to grow-up, and for goodness sake, please pay attention to the real, rather than the myth!
    Sorry for the length of this rant.

  9. 9 Roberto
    February 18, 2010 at 14:56

    RE “” there has been increased criticism about shortcomings at the games “”

    ——— Icehenge totem fests for modern capitalist pagans is what these winter Olympics represent.

    Summerhenge for the summer Olympics, and that’s what the Olympics have become in a nutshell.

    Few moderns know and care what Stonehenge represented to ancients and few future moderns to know or care what Olympics were today.

    Now, Lindsey Vonn is a finely talented fox, but it would stagger some 3rd world treasuries to envision of the endorsement monies the ice queen will earn for the rest of her life. Lucky husband, but really now, aren’t these winter Olympics like the Do-Do bird in relevancy to the planet?

  10. 10 JanB
    February 18, 2010 at 15:07

    As long as the games are profitable to the host I don’t see a problem.

  11. 11 Wii Mii
    February 18, 2010 at 15:12

    Hosting a huge sports event I think is a good thing in the short term: it generates employment while the infrastructure is built and also publicity for the country, which may help increase tourism.

    However, the other side of the coin is that money is spent on something which does not help the country and its population in the long run. These billions could have been spent e.g. by imporving the healthcare system and helping poor people – or on something which would have benefitted each person in some way.

  12. 12 Gavin
    February 18, 2010 at 18:09

    If an event is done well, it can really help raise the profile of a country both in terms of recognition around the world and can bring change where needed.

    In Vancouver, for example, a new rapid transit line was built from the airport to the downtown area. It had been needed for a long time but hosting something like the Olympics was the catalyst. It’s the same situation with a new conference centre which is currently hosting the IBC.

    With the exception of the death of the German athlete, the problems with these Olympics have been out of the hands of organizers.

    This is really one of those questions where either answer could be right, but it all depends on a multitude of variables.

  13. 13 Gavin
    February 18, 2010 at 18:14

    Yikes…I meant Georgian athlete. And when I say out of the hands of organizers…they can’t control the weather and they can’t control when the equipment of suppliers breaks down. I’d say that’s more embarrassing to the suppliers.

  14. 14 Tara Ballance, Montreal Canada
    February 18, 2010 at 19:50

    Anyone who can read a weather map could have predicted the lack of snow at Vancouver’s Winter Olympics.

    And given the levels of poverty and homelessness in Vancouver, I think that the monies spent to host the Olympics would have been better invested in low-cost housing and provision of social services.

    But hey, don’t listen to me. I live in Montreal, where it only took us three decades to finally pay off our Olympic debt.

  15. 15 @guykaks
    February 18, 2010 at 19:51

    It should be rated 50-50.On the contrary i don’t trust the developing countries

  16. 16 Megha Bhagat
    February 19, 2010 at 06:14

    From Indias experience its not always great hosting a major sports event! From messed up state of affairs bigger issues like child rights violations, labour right violations emerge and they become problems that continue to stay on! With commonwealth approaching and the tardy preparedness we are yet again on the same path that we took during the asiad games way back in the 80’s.

  17. 17 Subhash C Mehta
    February 19, 2010 at 14:25

    Well-organized and safe/secure major sporting events may turn out to be a blessing; otherwise, they can prove to be a curse for the participating competitors and the public.

  18. 18 audre
    February 19, 2010 at 15:32

    Olympics… an outdated concept!

  19. February 20, 2010 at 12:32

    If any showcase leads to an increase in the quality of knowledge about the country presenting it then it can only be positive. Knowledge is not always a bag of sweets.

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