Is hosting the Olympic Games or World Cup good for the host country?
Trying out an experiment in Oxford-style debating on Tildes.
- Top-level comments should explicitly state pro or con. Take a position and defend it. If you want to "on the one hand...on the other hand..." do it in replies to the top-level comments.
- Link to sources. This is where we can actually do better than an in-person Oxford debate.
- Keep it civil. Seriously. I've picked a bit of a softball topic for this first round, so it shouldn't be too hard, but if this works well we should be able to expand it to more controversial topics.
- Don't feel obligated to argue the position you personally believe in. Making a strong argument for a position you don't necessarily believe strongly is excellent practice in critical thinking. If you're undecided, flip a coin, and argue the Pro side for heads and the Con side for tails.
For the initial topic I wanted to find something just polarizing enough to make a good debate, but also a bit off-the-beaten path from most internet arguments:
Resolved: hosting the Olympic Games or World Cup is a net benefit for the host country
Con. It's a noble idea in theory, but in practice it's become an excuse for boondoggle projects rife with corruption, often run by autocratic governments.
Qatar is hosting the World Cup in 2022. The stadiums are being built with slave labor, with hundreds of workers dying due to heat stroke and other unsafe working conditions.
Brazil's stadiums built for the 2016 Summer Games have been mostly abandoned. Just one year later, only 15 of the 27 venues had been used for anything, and the soccer stadium had its power shut off after a $1 million unpaid electric bill. They spent $500 million renovating that stadium for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, but just a few years later the field is brown and seats are being stolen.
A much better model for both the Olympics and World Cup would be for one nation to host it permanently (Greece and the Summer Olympics would be an obvious pairing), or a small rotating group of 3-4 countries takes turns hosting it. With those events being every 4 years, that would give them 12-16 years between hosting, allowing upgrades of the stadium if necessary, but without requiring wholesale new stadium construction with no promise that it'll be used in the future.
Off-topic / meta comments, reply to this, rather than posting a top-level comment.
This article gives a pretty good idea of the costs and the cons.