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Olympic Benefit

October 3, 2009

It looks like there is no economic benefit to having the Olympics in your city. According to two economists, Andrew Zimbalist (Smith College) and Brad R. Humphreys (University of Alberta), the actual costs of hosting the Olympics are much higher than the proposed budgets. The Athens and Beijing Olympics both estimated it would cost $1.6 billion to host the Olympics in their respective cities, but it actually cost Athens $16 billion while Beijing is somewhere in the range of $30 to $40 billion. The upcoming games in London will cost about $19 billion, which is $14 billion more than the original $5 billion projection.

In a recent interview with Democracy Now, Dave Zirin, a sportswriter, argues that having the Olympics in your town actually hurts it economically. He mentioned that it took Montreal nearly 30 years to pay off its debt for hosting the 1976 games.

On the plus side, if you live in any of those cities, you’ll have access to Olympic-sized swimming pools, tracks, etc. since no one is using them anymore!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2009 2:39 pm

    That’s a sad reality that the games hurt the hosting city economically. However, when I hear Americans cheering over the lost bid, I have to wonder if they remember what country they live in? I think most of them are part of that group that wants to see the president fail — no matter what.

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