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Zone36's avatar

What cities have or haven't benefitted from hosting the Olympics?

Asked by Zone36 (413points) February 13th, 2010

For example, Vancouver didn’t have to build most of it’s venues for this Olympics. But take for example Greece or China had to build a majority of them. (Of course summer games are different than winter ones, so they might need more)

But I remember reading this article a while back how Greece didn’t really make up it’s investment in the games, and how the venues they created are not being used much or even kept up.

I think it will be good for Vancouver, since it was more like a giant renovation project. It could help infrastructure, increase tourism, and show others it’s a nice place to live.

So which cities flourished after the Olympics?
And which floundered? Why?
What’s happening with the old venues?

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6 Answers

laureth's avatar

It turns out that most cities don’t benefit very much at all. There’s an interesting story on NPR about it. Mostly they benefit, if at all, from increased international exposure which increases the world’s willingness to take the city seriously as a trade partner. As far as direct benefits go, “There has never been an Olympic Games that has made a profit,” says Robert Barney, director of the International Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario.

This is because all the costs usually aren’t figured in when deciding if a city has made a profit. From the same article: “Actually, tangible economic benefits are elusive. The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics are often hailed for finishing with a $233 million surplus. But Barney says the calculation includes only direct costs of staging the games and not the indirect costs provided by city, state and federal governments. The same is true, he says, for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Organizers of both games claimed multimillion-dollar surpluses, but neither included massive federal spending when adding up costs.”

Lve's avatar

I would be surprised if cities/countries didn’t have some sort of profit from hosting the Olympics – if not always a benefit that can be expressed in $$. There are always a bunch of candidates that are jumping at the chance to become the host for the next event. If hosting the Olympics would only have negative effects, that wouldn’t be the case.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Most places actually lose money in the long run over their Olympics. Sometimes it helps spark new infrastructure. In recent memory, I feel like Salt Lake City probably got a huge boost from the 2002 Olympics. While Utah was on the map for winter sports before, I think the Olympics really catapulted them to global recognition.

On the other hand, the Olympics in Sarajevo definitely didn’t foster long-term peace, harmony or remaining infrastructure.

gailcalled's avatar

Lake Placid, with fewer than 4000 permanent residents, can hardly be called a city. But the 1980’s Olympics endowed the town with terrific winter sports facilities and now an Athlete’s Training Center.

The town is a blizzard of competitive winter sports. The athletes are housed in a very nice facility just outside of town. The 1980 event (particulary Team USA) continues to be a big draw.

In the summer, we used to see competitive crews out training on Lake Placid itself, early in the morning when the lake was actually placid. The ski jumps have material that allows for non-snow jumping off-season also.

gailcalled's avatar

edit: Athletes’

tinyfaery's avatar

For the 1984 L.A. Olympics they changed many of the streets in downtown to one way streets and they have never gone back. It has been so much easier to drive around downtown since.

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