Global athletic events such as the Olympics, the World Cup, the Extreme Games, and even the American Super Bowl are incredible opportunities for countries. These iconic spectacles can provide a country with an economic avalanche of benefits or expose it to a public relations disaster. This essay will look at both points, using Russia and the United Kingdom as examples.
Firstly, it is important to bear in mind that simply hosting the event and having the world’s media attention cannot guarantee a positive promotion. This is because although the country is receiving enormous amounts of publicity, the media will often report controversial news as well as. Take the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, for example. The media spotlight is shining bright on the athletes but also highlighting the polemic legislation regarding homosexuality. Therefore, despite the international recognition to be gained, the country can also face a possible backlash.
Secondly, the expense of building large infrastructures necessary to hold these events can dwarf the benefits, unless they are fully amortized afterwards. This is largely due to the fact that stadiums, Olympic parks, ski runs etc. are expensive to construct and undertake large capital expenditure, often by the public sector. In the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, the council commissioned a stadium for athletic events which was later adapted and sold to the local preeminent football club, Manchester City. Therefore with proper, fair, economic management of such buildings and facilities the cost can be recuperated.
To conclude, a host city or nation has a lot to gain from these events but only if they are economically administered correctly and the country has no controversial issues for the media to pull out of the closet.