Why do Countries Host Major Sporting Events?

Why do countries and cities compete to host mega sporting events? And what factors do most hosts have in common?

Mega-events present mega-opportunities to shape, restructure, improve, prepackage and sell the host city to an international audience. Events like the Olympics and the Football World Cup attract billions of viewers internationally and hundreds of thousands of visiting spectators. The magnitude of both challenge and opportunity is exceptional. They attract highly competitive cities in rigorous and demanding bidding processes. Historically they have been hosted primarily in developed countries, though increasingly developing countries sees these as opportunities to fast-track development. It is vital that opportunities be weighed against mega-risks of pubic debt, resource strain and international public relations disaster of a poorly executed event.

Common Factors for Hosts of Major Sporting Events:

Source: Altringer (2005). Hosting Mega-events: the Road to the FIFA World Cup 2010. WITS University, October 31, 2005.