The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup
by Andrew Zimbalist
GV721 .Z56 2015
New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor
With Rio gearing up to host the 2016 Olympic Games to the accompanying hue and cry rather than cheers of many of the city residents, this timely title provides an economist’s interpretation of the potential impact of hosting the games.
Author Andrew Zimbalist studies the effect of the Olympics and other sports mega-events on such urban economies. In this work, he argues that while shorter term impacts on tourism industry and construction are heavy considerations, these rarely offset the long-term effects on economy and culture for the majority of residents. He outlines the factors that detract from sound decision-making on the side of the bidding cites as well as on the side of the commissions that award the events.
The title holds more than a bit of irony; Rome’s Circus Maximus served many noble – and ignoble – purposes for over six centuries. Zimbalist shows little evidence which offers hope that the venues constructed for games in places such as Barcelona, London, Rio-Brazil and Sochi will provide such enduring value to the public.