The hosting of mega-events has been actively pur sued by some of the world major centres as a way to ‘fast-track’ their urban regeneration agenda and stand out among the global competition for international capital. The Olympic Games has long been seen as a golden opportunity to achieve this but the fierce compe tition to host it has made some bidding cities to turn their attentions to other sports competitions such as the Commonwealth Games or the Pan American Games, thus enhancing their status and hosting requirements. The preparation phase during the years running up to a mega-e vent deals with great levels of planning complexity that are met with equally intense impacts on the host community. This paper examines the nature of the social impacts caused by the hosting of a mega-event drawing examples from the academic literature available in order to produce a typology of impacts. It is expected that the proposed framework can be employed in conjunction with a holistic model of assessment capable to examine the event in a broader process of transformation in local urban governance.