Why Can't We Just Host the Olympics in the Same Place Every Year?

Saturday, the International Olympic Committee will announce where the 2020 Summer Games will be held: Istanbul, Madrid, and Tokyo are the contenders. Whichever city wins the games will face enormous costs for a couple weeks of showcasing their country to the world. Hosting the Olympics can almost bankrupt a nation, while corporate sponsors and the IOC reap the profits.

University of Maryland public policy professor John Rennie Short thinks he has a solution. It's on an island.

Instead of investing billions of dollars in new Olympic host cities every four years, Short suggests it would be cheaper and easier to create a sort of Olympics island that can play host to the more expensive Summer Games, at a minimum, year after year. The IOC could essentially take over an island – maybe a Greek island, Short suggests – and turn it into a permanent venue. It would function more or less like an international city-state, overseen by the United Nations, dedicated to hosting the Olympics and its training in perpetuity.

"There would be maybe big infrastructure costs, but there's huge infrastructure costs being borne every year. How much did the Chinese pay? We'll never know. How much did London pay?" says Short, who's written extensively on the Olympics, globalization and urban affairs. "We know the real costs are always underestimated. It's billions upon billions."

It's an intriguing idea, but at the same time, part of the draw of the Olympics is to focus on a different part of the world every few years. Then again, the day may come when no city wants the hassle and expense of hosting the games. What do you think? Link -via Digg

(Image credit: Mark Byrnes)

Should the Summer Games move to a permanent location?




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Hogwash. I can't see any nation giving up an island for the Olympic games for so many reasons. Nobody would give up land or nobody would agree on one parcel of land, etc. Hypothetically, if an island were to exist, then who would invest an Olympic venue in the middle of nowhere? Which country maintains it? Who reaps the benefits of the venue after the games? Good luck splitting up the work and finances to an area that essentially nobody owns. The United Nations couldn't do it. It doesn't represent the entire world, which would be contrary to what the Olympics is about.
The Olympics bring lasting infrastructure to a city for years and years and buildings find similar uses after the games. Statistically, the Olympics turn a profit. Benefits through tourism and towards society are immeasurable. Countries jostle over an Olympic bid for a reason.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_the_Olympic_Games
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