It's how you play the game: Hosting mega sporting events

The appeal of marquee sports mega-events such as the Olympics and football’s FIFA World Cup™ is undeniable. Cities the world over jockey to host these high-profile events, undeterred by the substantial costs, extensive planning, and inflexible timelines.

What motivates the fierce competition to host these events? Are the risks worth the rewards? In fact, these marquee global events do possess inherently singular features that are not easily replicated:

  • Their attendant deadlines mandate discipline and commitment. 
  • They offer rare opportunities for positioning in the spotlight of intense media attention. 
  • They necessitate collaboration between the various levels of government. 
  • They require the public and private sectors to cooperate.
  • They mobilize national pride toward a common goal. 
  • They celebrate human achievement.

However, not every city or region is ready or able to host a marquee mega-event. Smaller cities and regions may not have the resources, the infrastructure, or the capacity. They may be better served by assessing their long-term priorities for development and then bidding on the events that best correlate with those priorities. Smaller scale events — mega in their own right — range from the Commonwealth Games and the Rugby World Cup to the Universiade (World University Games) and Formula One racing. 

Proprietary PwC analysis indicates that evaluating a city’s or region’s assets and priorities is the first step toward determining which type of event it is best suited to host. Our framework allows cities and regions to assess their strengths and weaknesses, then match their objectives for long-term development with the criteria required to host a particular event.