Friday, March 3, 2017

Who will Win the Bid for 2024 Summer Olympics?

Image result for how much does it cost to host the olympicsIt is not often thought about outside of the two week period of the Summer Olympics but when your city is bidding for the Olympics, it is a very hot topic. 
What I am talking about is the money that it costs to host the Olympics. As the IOC gets ready to announce the host city of the 2024 Summer Olympics this Summer, there are only two cities bidding. This was the case last week when Budapest Hungary withdrew their bid to bring the Olympics to their country for the first time in history.  

Now we are down to two. Paris and Los Angels. On the surface, both seem like great candidates. Both have hosted the Summer Olympics twice. For Paris, it was 1900 and 1924 and for LA it was 1932 along with the boycotted games in 1984.  

With the amount of  money it costs to host the Olympics astronomically high, having two candidates remaining to vote on might become the norm. Gone are the days where winning the bid was a reward, now it has become a financial burden on the city.  
While there is great economic benefits to host the games such as improved infrastructure, better transit, more jobs and escalated tourism in the following years, the multi billion dollar question becomes, is it all worth it?  

Generally speaking, it is estimated that it takes about 30-40 years to see if a host city makes money on the games. The big issue becomes, what happens to all the venues.   

Some host cities do really well with the venues as they get turned into legacy buildings. In Vancouver, the curling arena was turned into a curling center for use of the community. On the other hand, some host cities don't do a great job. The 1976 Olympic Stadium in Montreal instantly became a "White Elephant" over night when the Montreal Expos moved to Washington DC. A White Elephant on Wikipedia is described  by "A white elephant is a possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost, particularly that of maintenance, is out of proportion to its usefulness." The Olympic Stadium fits the definition because the stadium is never used outside of a preseason Bluejays game and a Montreal Impact soccer game where they expect a big crowd.  

In the past, Montreal in 1976 and Athens in 2004 have done a poor job in using old venues.  

It is almost impossible to predict the winner of the bid for 2024 which will be announced on September 13th 
Paris seems like the front runner as the Olympics have never been outside of Europe three straight Olympiads in a row. However Los Angeles will have a strong bid with so many venues still available from 1984 along with USA losing out on bids during previous Olympics like when New York was unsuccessful in 2012 and Chicago was beaten by Rio in 2016.  

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