Are the Olympic Games Sustainable?

This article, written by an economist in 2005, anticipated the sorry state of the Greek economy in 2011.  I can’t help wondering what role the cost of hosting the 2004 Olympics played in their economic disaster.  The full article is available by clicking the title below.   ~LTG

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF OLYMPIC GAMES RARELY ADDS UP TO MUCH GOLD

When Athens won the right to host the 2004 Games in 1997, its budget was $1.6 billion. The final public cost is estimated to be around $9 billion — over five times the original budget. Meanwhile, most of Athens’ Olympics facilities today are reportedly underutilized.

The Games are touted to bring in tens of thousands of tourists, and, if things go according to the hype, to keep them coming into the indefinite future. Here, too, the evidence isn’t rosy.

Olympic participants and visitors often chase others away. In late 2004, Athens tourism officials were talking about a 10 percent drop in tourist visitors to Greece in 2004.

Greece’s Olympic Dream has Turned into a Nightmare for Village Residents

“It was a hugely wasted opportunity and one that sticks in the throat of many people. We are left with installations that are rotting away because we don’t even have the money to maintain them. A lot of entrepreneurs and property developers got rich very quickly,” said Ms Sakorafa.

Now an independent MP, the 54 year-old who once held the javelin world record is leading calls for a national debt audit. “How can we begin to think about measures to repay our debt when we don’t know where the overspend came from and who is accountable for it?” she asked.

Back in the Olympic Village residents are asking the same thing.

“Someone has to pay for the mistakes, but why should it be us?” Said Mrs Deligianni. “I thought we were buying into paradise but instead we are trapped in hell.

Resource Link:  The Impact of the Summer Olympics on its Host City: The Costs Outweigh the Tangible Benefits

 

4 responses to “Are the Olympic Games Sustainable?

  1. The Greeks should have hired Billy Payne. :-)

    -Dave

  2. To the best of my knowledge, w/a very few minor areas of exception, all modern Olympics are colossal boondoggles that hang taxpayers w/the bills for egotistical Olympic Committee’s frivolous antics. They became political and economic footballs: in Kanada, we’re still paying for those we sponsored, and will be for many years to come. It’s especially disheartening when aspiring junior athletes learn that Olympic winners were doped or on steroids.

    • According to one comparison study I saw, Montreal went so far in the hole in 1976 they’re still paying it off. Ouch!

      How did the Winter Olympic in BC do financially?

      • OK, now you got me started! To have this disaster come to our province, we’ve radically cut back on already minimal services to handicapped of all ages and deficits, the elderly in too many ways to go into, and of course made sure that school programs were cut back even more. A few rich were made richer by real estate dealings, and some suppliers made once-in-a-lifetime profits that year. I have yet to meet one person who admits they wanted it at the costs we now face.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s