After the party’s over: five myths about hosting the Olympics

Dr. Stefan Szymanski is a professor of economics at City University London, and the author of Playbooks and Checkbooks: An Introduction to the Economics of Modern Sports. As such, he knows far more than you and I do on the subject of whether hosting Olympic Games is a good or bad deal for host cities. And now that the deliriously happy crowds have departed Vancouver, like all party hosts in the cold hard light of the morning after, we British Columbia taxpayers can re-assess our own 17-day party.   Continue reading

Why the Olympics are bad business

I am outnumbered. I am one of the few people I know who are anti-Olympics.  I say this with a wee pang of sadness because I used to be a bit of a Games junkie, having spent years working with the organizing committee when my own city of Victoria hosted the Commonwealth Games here in 1994. But the world has changed since then. Doping scandals, corporate sponsorship bullying, pervasive commercialism, anti-terrorist security, political interference, questionable IOC integrity, and obscene taxpayer-funded pricetags combine to make me shake my head and ask:

“Why are we doing this?”

The event is no longer even about athletic achievement.  We already hold world championships in each sport for that.  Continue reading