Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Most eybrow-raising line I read today


"Fewer people visited Barcelona in 1992, its Olympic year, than in 1991."
From Tim Harford's post on what London can expect from the next Olympic games. He goes on to write:
"If a sporting spectacle was all that was promised, the games would be an unproblematic affair. The Los Angeles games in 1984 focused on the sport, using existing facilities and renting student dorms instead of building an athletes’ village. It turned a huge profit."
I always suspected the economic effects of an Olympics are vastly overblown. But perhaps the diplomatic effects still make it worthwhile in some cases, hence China's heavy lobbying for this year's games. Read more of his column here. Here is one article skeptical of optimistic claims. Here is one convinced Atlanta hit the jackpot in 1996.

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