Why Host The Olympics? : The Indicator from Planet Money – NPR

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympics have met numerous challenges, from postponing the event in 2020 to near-empty stadiums in 2021 due to the pandemic. However, a historical challenge when it comes to the games is the massive cost. The current Olympics have already cost Japan over 15 billion dollars, much more than the original seven billion dollar proposal. So why do cities bid for the Olympics, when it is very likely that they will lose money?

Professor Kenneth Shropshire says the Olympics introduce your city to the rest of the world. For example, in 1968 he says, Mexico City wanted to show that Latin America was a place to visit and, in 1984, Los Angeles wanted to illustrate that it wasn't just Hollywood. It was also part of the Pacific Rim. Professor Victor Matheson notes the positive impact on infrastructure that the Olympic games can bring to a city plus the potential boost to local tourism.

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Why Host The Olympics? : The Indicator from Planet Money - NPR

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