Sustainable mega-events: A distant dream?

Panelists at the plenary session this morning discussed mega-events' sustainability (or lack thereof). Wladimir Andreff, of Observatoire de l’Economie du Sport in France, said the World Cup was too important of a revenue source for FIFA to discontinue it. But based on current cost-benefits analyses and human rights abuses, major reform is needed if the Olympics and World Cup are to continue. Norwegian University of Science and Technology professor Harry Arne Solberg suggested the possibility of having multiple cities – or even multiple countries – host Olympic events, assigning events to cities that already had sustainable facilities in place. Human Rights Watch Director of Global Initiatives Minky Worden warned that, without fail, pre-existing human rights violations worsen in countries granted mega-events.