I had a feeling that Sri Lanka could pull off the bid to host the next Commonwealth Games in Hambantota (in 2018). It was a close thing but the Gold Coast prevailed in the end.
Hosting a big sports event is a huge PR exercise. It brings in a lot of publicity but reaping long term benefits can be tricky. After co-hosting the last cricket world cup Sri Lanka Cricket is now virtually bankrupt and has asked for a bail out. The same thing, on a far larger scale would have been likely had Hambantota won the bid, so on the whole the country probably better off having lost the bid.
I have a theory that the straw that broke Greece was its hosting of the Olympics in 2004. Originally expected to cost $1.3bn, later revised to $5.3bn and now thought to have cost $20bn (the official cost was $14.2bn but others estimate it to be higher). Total Greek debt in 2009 was around €374bn.
Hambantota is a sleepy little town, with charm of its own. The comparison, with the Gold Coast could not be more stark, as these pictures testify.
I would rather it remained that way.