THE COST OF THE MODERN OLYMPICS FAR OUTWEIGHS THE BENEFITS by name University name The Cost of the Modern Olympics Far Outweighs the Benefits The Olympic Games spending has been the subject of the intense debate over the last decade or so…
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Indeed, one may definitely identify some economic benefits that are a result of the Games. These include employment of workers who will work at construction sites; the Olympics attract numerous people from across the globe that will predictably buy lots of thing, etc. At the same time, there are others that criticise the Olympics because of large amounts of public money spent by local governments to host them. While the latter may sound a bit pragmatic, yet theirs is the point. THESIS STATEMENT: The benefits of the Olympic Games do not outweigh their cost since the expenditures on construction are not remunerative, substitution spending takes place, misplacement is often the case, employment opportunities are temporary, and hopes for visitors’ excessive spending and attendance do not realize. To support this statement, this paper refers to the latest data on the Olympics and their benefit analysis done by scholars who research the issue. BODY PARAGRAPH 1: First, the cost of the Olympic Games considerably outweighs its benefits because expenditures on construction of new world-class facilities require excessive funding which will not be remunerative in the long run. Charles Santo in his article “Economic Impact of Sport Stadiums, Teams, and Events”, observes that Olympic spending is higher than any other spending on sporting events. He cites the following data: the 2004 Summer Olympics which were held in Athens incurred $12.8 billion; the Chinese government invested up to $43 billion to host the Beijing Olympic Games back in 2008. However, the sporting facilities do not yield sufficient returns on the public money invested in their construction and maintenance. The long-term fate of Olympic facilities in Beijing built before 2008 Olympic Games well illustrates this statement. As Demick (2009) observes, the National Stadium in Beijing, also called the Bird’s Nest, was supposed to host only one event in 2009. That was an opera performance of Turandot scheduled to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the ceremony of opening of the Olympics. Ironically, the leading soccer club in China had withdrawn from the deal to play at the stadium, since it found it embarrassing to utilize a 91,000-seat facility for soccer games that typically attracted not more than 10,000 visitors. BODY PARAGRAPH 2 Second, it is possible to say that the cost of the Olympic Games considerably outweighs their benefits because of the phenomenon known as substitution spending. Substitution spending with regard to the Olympics takes place when an anticipated tourism boom proves not profitable enough in real life: in fact, a tourism boom for one city means a slum for others. For example, hotel occupancy during the time of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia was related to substitution spending. The Olympics were held in Sydney between September 16 and September 30. For those two weeks, hotels in Sydney had nearly 100% occupancy, yet in other markets Australian hotels had considerable demand shortfalls compared to the first half of September and to the same time period a year ago. Specifically, hotel occupancy dropped by 17% and 19% during the period of the Olympics in Brisbane and Melbourne (Andersen 2000, p.1). Hence, the substitution spending was fixed during the 2000 Olympics. It leads to the conclusion that the economic gains brought by the
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