Thursday, May 29, 2014

2022 Winter Olympics Dilemma

The bidding cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics are dropping like flies. Stockholm, Sweden was the first to go in January due to the lack of political support for the bid. Krakow, Poland was next to go with the public opposition being too high for them to want to continue.

Two more bids are in jeopardy. Lviv, Ukraine is unlikely to win even if they continue with their bid due to the current volatile situation in the country. Oslo, Norway is on shaky ground as support has been low from the public and politicians. Beijing, China and Almaty, Kazakhstan are the other two and come with their own concerns. Kazakhstan for their poor human rights record and Beijing for the terrible pollution, which was a question mark during the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. The snow events would also have to be held 100 miles Northwest of Beijing.

Countries are becoming increasingly worried about the costs for the games not being worth it. Sochi spent $51 Billion on the Olympics, which was more than ALL previous Winter Olympics combined...and now all the tourists are gone. It was basically a big fat expensive ego stroke for Vladimir Putin. Many countries/cities who host end up losing money. If every city would come together to submit cheaper bids utilizing more locations that are already built, the IOC would have no choice but to award it. I've always thought Lake Placid or Salt Lake should make a statement bid and purposely spend as little as possible by using the exact same venues they previously used, spending as little as possible for upgrades. The IOC will eventually need to change their tune on the outrageous cost to host the Olympics.

Not every city loses money. Los Angeles (1984), Salt Lake City (2002) and Atlanta (1996) all made a profit. London (2012), Seoul (1988) & Beijing (2008) are some foreign cities that have made money. Atlanta utilized their venues, turning the Athletes' Village into college dorms. The Falcons and Braves took over the stadiums after the Games ended. For some odd reason though, both those stadiums will be demolished as new expensive ones are built. The Georgia Dome was built in 1993 and Turner Field in 1996. I'm not sure what Atlanta is smoking in spending money on new stadiums when the current ones are just 21 and 18 years old. Especially since half the fans at Braves and Falcons games cheer for the opposing team anyway.

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