Click here to skip to content

bl.uk > Sport & society home > Explore social sciences > Sport & life > Mega-events

Mega-events

The Olympic Games is arguably the ultimate 'mega-event'. But what are 'mega-events' and how should we study them? Maurice Roche, a prominent researcher in this field describes them as:

'large-scale cultural (including commercial and sporting) events which have a dramatic character, mass popular appeal and international significance'
Mega-events & modernity (2000)

In these pages we look at definitions of the mega-event, its significance, history, and how, as a phenomenon, it is being studied; later, we will be looking at the logistics of hosting an Olympic games, the issues raised for host cities and the physical legacies the Games leave behind.

Defining the mega-event

Stadium crowd [10KB]

Although mega-events each have their peculiarities, they also share a number of characteristics.

Olympic ceremonies

Fireworks [8KB]

As sport - and the Olympic Games - increased in international importance, the hosting of the Games provided the governments of the host countries with valuable legitimising and promotional tools.

Counter-culture

World Outgames pillars [10KB]

Olympic ceremonies are intended to invoke a sense of community spirit at several levels, from the local to the international.

Mega-events Bibliography

Books [10KB]

A list of resources.

Help us to provide a research legacy for the London Olympics

Find out more

Research articles

The links below are to Adobe PDF files. Accessibility solutions and free Reader software are available from Adobe.

Building bricks by building stadiumsPDF file

The modern Olympic Games: governance & ownership of riskPDF file

Social sciences at the British Library

Find out more