Hosting the Olympic Games

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Steve Johnson
PHE 120 Bronzan
9/5/12
Is it Worth the Costs to Host the Summer Olympics?
The Summer Olympic Games are some of the most prestigious, and most watched sporting events on the planet that are all mixed into one huge international event. With this prestige come the best athletes in the world, ranging from track and field and swimming, to table tennis and equestrian. All of these athletes come together every 4 years, to a city that is picked by the International Olympic Committee. To host all of the best athletes in the world is an honor, and can put a city on the map. However, to host the Summer Olympic Games, the city has to produce a “wow” factor like no other. In today’s society with countless television and internet sources, all eyes are on the city for 2 ½ weeks while they are hosting the games. To produce such a reaction from fans from all backgrounds can be very expensive. Buildings and stadiums not only need to be built to host events, but some old venues need to be renovated, as the whole world is watching these venues during their given events. Not only do the sporting venues need to be built and refurbished, but surrounding areas are also renovated and reconstructed to show off the beauty and pride of the given country. Hosting the Olympics is the best way to show national pride and beauty to the rest of the world. Though it is expensive economically, the effects monetarily and socially are worth the pains and expenses that are put into hosting the games from building new venues and rehabilitating old ones.

Cities bid on hosting the Olympics about 10-12 years before the games are to be hosted. This gives the city picked time to start building new venues that can host the large crowds and also rebuild and renew blighted surrounding areas to look beautiful to the some 15,000 journalists and athletes that come to the city. The city’s reputation is on the line, and the government of the host country doesn’t want the athletes, fans and journalists to talk down about the host city and its venues.

Hosting the summer Olympics never used to cost anything like what it does today. With Television networks and internet broadcasting almost, if not every event, all eyes are on the host city. The big jump in costs started at the Olympics hosted in Montreal in the summer of 1976. It is one of the most expensive Olympics to date, costing the city $6 billion in buildings and renovations. One of the most expensive buildings was Olympic Stadium. Though initial budgeting said otherwise, it ended up costing $243 million. Montreal was unique in that it was publicly funded. The citizens of the city voted to pay for the Olympics through whatever means necessary. However, they were told that it could be a financially beneficial investment and that if the games turned a profit, they would not have to pay as much. As it turned out, Montreal had the biggest monetary deficit after the games than ever before. “The gaping deficit of $1.2 billion (€1 billion), is still being paid off through a supplementary tax on tobacco. (Kyle)” Montreal is looked at as the model of what not to do, and after these games, much research was done before bidding on hosting an Olympic games.

Due to the financial troubles of the Olympic Games in Montreal, cities thought twice before deciding whether or not to bid. Los Angeles won the right to host the Olympics in 1984, and showed that hosting the Olympics can be a huge success economically. There were new strategies put in place on how to fund the games and the renovations and construction that was to be done in order to host the games adequately. “Since local citizens voted against public financing, these games became the first to be almost entirely privately funded. Los Angeles marked the beginnings of commercialization of the games and the development of Olympic sponsorship deals (Kyle).” This showed the rest of the world that it could be financially beneficial to host the games. Mostly...
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