A response is presented to the dilemma of hosting resource-intensive large-scale sporting events at a time when requirements for sustainability and sustainable development must also be met. A framework was devised for judging development and design issues for future planning, one which is based upon extant historic evidence from host city experiences as well as previous event outcomes. It offers potential to compare plans against best/optimal practice. The technique for appraisal arises from a detailed analysis of Olympic Games held since 1896. Data associated with venue design, construction and usage, athletes' accommodation, and the facilities for officials, the media and visitors/spectators, were amassed and reviewed. An evaluation technique was produced which demonstrates how the organizers of a modern Olympic Games can assess and reflect upon planning, design and development decisions associated with their own city from an early outline stage. This should permit less wasteful, more appropriate and more sustainable Games' infrastructures to be considered before complex detailed development occurs.