This paper, drawing on social exchange theory, examines the changes in enthusiasm between 1998 and 2000 towards Sydney’s Olympics among a socially diverse sample of host city residents. In particular, it studies variables that differentiate respondents’ altering attitude. Results suggest that for the majority the reaction to Sydney’s Olympics intensified from 1998, reaching euphoria in September 2000. Elation was particularly evident among those living in the city’s western suburbs, those with dependent children, those from non- English backgrounds, or who perceived the event’s wider economic benefits as outweighing personal costs. Implications arising from this project are considered for future researchers and organizers of hallmark events.