Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Derailed Olympic Bid


I was a firm opponent of the New York Olympic bid 4 years ago and couldn't be more enthused that Chicago has failed to clinch the United State's first Olympic bid since Atlanta in 1996. Reasons are simple and non-political. Granted the current economic climate, does this nation really need to pour over $10 billion dollars in for the event? Is the trade off of having an "international unity" in Chicago really worth the additional debt that city will face for a decade after the game exits?

Look at the last four Olympic hosts. Atlanta is STILL recovering economically after the 1996 games and anyone who has visited the city in the last decade can tell you it's a very slow process. Sydney's (2000) tourism actually saw a decline since their games, Athens (2004) is still struggling to come up with a solution to $7 billion euros, the remainder of their debt and well, the Chinese government would never reveal anything that would shame them so we'll probably never know what kind of hit Beijing took last year.

The granddaddy of them all? The Montreal games of 1976. They've just paid off their debt 2 years ago- three whole decades after the games.

So is it worth it?

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