We all know that hosting an international sporting event is a very costly endeavour for any city that is selected. Between the bidding process, construction and other miscellaneous costs, hosting a major event such as the World Cup and the Olympics is a huge burden on taxpayers. This is a well known fact and a major reason why many oppose their city/country playing host to one of these events. What isn’t well known is the “other”, more human costs involved in hosting a major event that are currently being seen in Brazil in preparation for both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
Earlier this week, a crane collapsed in Sao Paulo, killing two construction workers and damaging part of the already behind schedule stadium (The Economist, 2013). Add on to the fact that 6 other stadiums slated for games in the World Cup are very behind schedule, construction efforts will speed up meaning the risk for more injured workers will increase.
This latest tragedy is in addition to the well documented displacement of many people’s homes in order to construct stadiums. As Zirin points out, this is not the first time similar situations have risen in order to host a Major Games. Beijing is a recent example but there have been many others. In the end I agree with his position that hosting is not always worth the stated advantages of boosting the local economy and showcasing the city to the world.
All in all, I believe that when looking to host a Major sporting event, the human cost must also be looked at in addition to the financial costs. The situation in Brazil as well as others before it illustrate that sometimes what the organizing committee believes to be best for a community or country is not always what is right.
Zirin, Dave. (2013). Game Over. New York: The New Press