This chapter takes a critical approach to understanding the socio-economic impacts of mega-events. As Rojek (2013) suggested, a critical approach to events and event management asks searching questions about ‘event power’ to get an idea of who defines events, how they are managed and what they achieve’ (pp. xi-xii). Professional event literature usually takes a technocratic view, focusing ‘on the nuts and bolts in the machine and when and where to oil the parts’ (Rojek, 2013, p. xii). Further, critical discourse on events asks questions about ‘who owns the machine, who controls it and what is its purpose’ (Rojek, 2013, p. xii). This chapter will elucidate why the socio-economic impact of sports mega-events is a critical issue, not only because of the vast sums of money involved and the potential risks to a city’s, region’s, or entire nation’s prestige or reputation should things go wrong, but also given the possibility of unexpected or unintended potential impacts. First, we will critically reflect on the language used to frame the consequences of sports mega-event hosting. Further, we will explore the interrelatedness of both intended and unintended impacts of sports mega-events. Finally, we will present a case study of the London 2012 Olympic Games to illustrate these impacts. The final section will also feature a short conclusion and suggestions on managerial implications.