London Olympics: Are organizers not willing to pay for play?
Why The Olympics Aren't Good For Us, And How They Can Be
BBC Sport: Olympics
Opening Ceremony of 1948 London Olympics
This Friday, the Olympics will return to London for the first time since 1948, and the entire world will be watching. This major sporting event itself will be closely watched by the usual suspects (sports media, pundits, and the like), but urban studies types will be most interested in watching after the fact to see how the infrastructure improvements created for the Olympics hold up over time. A number of commentators, including the folks at The Economist, have been intrigued by the business aspects of the Games. In an article in this week's edition, they reported that the British government's budget for the games is around $14.5 billion. In addition, the International Olympic Committee has raised $4.87 billion in broadcast fees for the Olympic cycle that includes the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. They also noted that there is an interesting hierarchy of sponsors. And what of the broad benefits that might accrue to the host country? The findings are mixed: Victor Matheson of the College of the Holy Cross noted that organizers of big sporting events tend to overestimate the benefits and underestimate the costs. Illustrating this point, noted academics Bent Flyvbjerg and Allison Stewart of Oxford University recently released a working paper noting that every Olympiad since 1960 has gone over budget. This may increase anxiety for the average Briton.
The first link leads to The Economist article which offers a cost-benefit analysis of hosting the London Summer Olympics. The second link will take users to a piece from the Los Angeles Times about the pay scale for major pop music acts that will be appearing at the Games. Moving along, the third link will whisk visitors to a nice editorial piece by Mark Perryman on how the Olympics could be improved the next go-round. The fourth link will lead interested parties to the BBC's site dedicated to coverage of the Summer Olympics. The fifth link will take guests to the official London Summer Olympics, complete with detailed schedule, venue information, and video clips. The last link leads to a wonderful newsreel of the opening ceremonies of the 1948 Olympic Games, which were also held in London.