The Cost of the Modern Olympics Far Outweighs the Benefits

The perceived benefit of the Olympic Games is a major reason why more countries are investing into the bidding process to become the next country to host the event (Malfas, 2004). Another reason for increased financial investment into Olympic Games is increased commercialization of sports as a whole (Malfas, 2004). However, countries miscalculate and overestimate the expected benefits of hosting such events and join the bidding process in the hope of achieving long-term benefits (Baarclay, 2009). Rosenblum (2009) notes that those who receive the benefits are construction companies, local politicians and IOC, while the people facing costs are local residents, TV Networks and local economy representatives (Rosenblum, 2009). Rosenblum (2009) also notes that the representation of figures given by IOC is inaccurate and shows underestimated figures of cost. The costs that a country bears during this event are immense. The host country may perceive that they would get a huge amount of revenue. by building infrastructure and due to tourists visiting the country economy will get better. But in reality this is not the case. It is a temporary solution to the lavish costs that are spent on the projects within the context of the Olympic Games. Olympic Games require construction of stadiums, roads and infrastructure, which may not have been needed should there be no Olympic Games taking place in the host country (McHugh, 2006). Instead, such costs and labour could have been used up on public projects. By giving up on public projects and taking up work to create stadiums just for hosting a two weeks’ event creates an opportunity cost that is not accounted when calculating the overall cost of the project. The Olympic book indicated that the estimated cost of athletic venues for Vancouver Olympics was $366 million, such lavish cost for a limited utility. The primary reason for a country to host such a mega-event is to show the world its prestige and power and if it is an emerging country than the major reason is to display its ability to host such an event and gain limelight (Zarnowski, 1992). It is agreed that the infrastructure of a country gets better, more tourists visit the country and it is a colourful spectacle but what about the problems the local public communities face and the delay in public projects? The costs that a country actually bears when hosting an Olympic event are the event costs and infrastructure costs. The benefits that may be counted are the infrastructure benefits and tourism demand in the secondary market (McHugh, 2006). Event costs are bidding, administrative, security, translation, promotion, opening and closing ceremony costs, as well as insurance costs (Billings Holladay, 2012). Infrastructure costs are costs of housing, venues and supporting transit (McHugh, 2006). McHugh (2006) in his model took into consideration all the event benefits and the direct event costs associated with deriving of those benefits for Vancouver Winter Olympics. The cost-benefit analysis pointed to a negative benefit of $101 million showing that the cost of the project far outweighed the benefits associated with the project. Owen (2005) notes that the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta provided a small boost to the economy and that too was short lived. It has not been seen