Abandoned Olympic Venues Cast Doubt on the Value of Hosting

Though cities hope for an economic boost, these photos show it's far from guaranteed.

February 17, 2018, 1:00 PM PST

By Katharine Jose


Brazil Olympics

Andre Luiz Moreira / Shutterstock

There is a vigorous competition between cities that hope to host the Olympic games, in part because the inevitable building boom and influx of visitors are expected to boost the economy. 

But Business Insider has compiled a set of photos from cities that have hosted in the past, and they call into question whether or not the event is, in the long term, a sound investment. 

For example, the expensive gondola that was supposed to bring critical infrastructure to the favelas of Rio de Janiero ceased operations last year, and many of the venues built in Athens have been either abandoned or destroyed. 

There are, of course, non-economic reasons to hold the Olympics. Even though much of the infrastructure is, at best, underused, the 2008 games in Beijing served "as a barely disguised metaphor for this nation’s rise to worldwide importance."  

And the current games in Pyeongchang are both welcomed by the city, and serving a larger political purpose. 

But as Boston's self-withdrawal from consideration as host of the 2024 games implies, some cities are starting to question if the massive effort required to host the Olympics is worth the massive amount of capital required. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018 in Business Insider

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