YES: Hosting major sporting events is a huge planning and implementation challenge in itself, followed generally by harmful and unintended consequences both for the host and humanity.
The financial resources expanded into hosting major sporting events often drain the national budget, leading to constraints on other forms of essential public spending. In some cases, poor planning and policies may lead to overspending and accompanying costs to societal welfare.
Public expectations of athletes in hosting countries to do well and win medals becomes extremely high, and the focus on nationalistic pride replaces healthy competition.
The large numbers of visitors, alongside consumption of energy, goods and services undertaken during major sporting events can cause irreparable levels of environmental damage and degradation to both the local and regional environments.
Governments of hosting countries may carry out unethical or highly controversial actions to clean up their public image prior to major sports events, such as forcibly evicting squatters or homeless people from competition venues and urban centers.
NO: Hosting major sporting events provides a range of benefits for both the host and humanity, justifying the costs involved in its planning and implementation.
Although the financial resources expanded into hosting major sporting events are significant, the expenditure is matched by accompanying revenue streams and economic benefits, such as tourist dollars and a rise of employment numbers in the construction industry.
Athletes of hosting countries recognize the honor given by the international community to their countries, and take extra efforts to live the values of true sportsmanship such as integrity, respect for one’s fellow competitors and humility in both victory and defeat.
Hosting countries can work with the governments of participating countries to develop measures that alleviate the inevitable environmental damage arising from major sporting events, such as creating carbon offset programs for participating athletes and spectators flying in.
Major sporting events provide good opportunities for the governments of hosting countries to carry out actions that genuinely project a heightened and improved level of culture and civility, such as the release of political prisoners or the commissioning of commemorative public artworks.