The much-awaited sporting season of the year is on its way, where the best athletes from different countries are all set to compete against each other in the new national stadium. The viewers from all around the world are excited to be part of the Olympics 2020 games. But there are various questions which are being raised and I personally think some analysis must be done on such topics – Why Hosting The Olympics isn’t Worth it Anymore?
Recently, due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, various sporting events in the month of March and April all over the globe have been postponed. There are various question marks over the Olympics 2020. There are various statements released from the authorities. Few of them are confident enough about conducting Olympic games in a scheduled time frame while few raise a concern and feel Games can be canceled or postponed. Tokyo is almost ready to welcome the world. Billions of dollars are invested in this project. What if the Olympics get canceled? The hosts will face huge losses in such a situation.
Coronavirus might be once in a century case but for over the decade, the Olympic Games have been surrounded by prevalent overspending, controversies, and waster. Now with the lasting damage, the Olympics do to the hosting city, it has certainly raised a question among viewers Is Hosting The Olympics worth it anymore?
The crucial factor that remains into the limelight is high costing the organizers bear to host the Olympic event. With the rising cost of infrastructure, it has become a tedious task to host any mega-event especially the Olympic Games. Hosting is expensive and every Olympic game in the last fifty years has gone over budget. The hosting country had so far faced the financial burden demonstrating the challenging job for the preparations of the Olympic Games.
The following figure clearly states the estimated cost of the last four Olympics and also the projected cost of the
|Sydney||2000||$ 4.7 Billion|
|Athens||2004||Euro 9 Billion|
|Beijing||2008||$ 42 Billion|
|London||2012||$ 11 Billion|
|Rio||2016||$ 15 Billion|
The initial budget of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games was around 10 billion dollars, which went over 41 billion dollars.
One of the major concerns experienced by any hosting city is the infrastructure challenges. The organizers have to go through the tedious task of developing the sporting stadium, accommodation, transportation networks necessary to manage the rising tourists and athletes. Also, organizers have to plan the structure and adhere to the guidelines of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The focus is mainly on the tourist attraction, where city planners tend to capitalize on urban space and developing it into a recreational environment. The focus is mainly on the consumerism, retail, sporting, hotel, leisure and heritage spaces.
Also one of the major challenges faced by the hosting city is what to do with this infrastructure after the conclusion of the games. However, Barcelona is one such country that has turned the Olympic stadium into a tourist attraction.
But Sydney, Montreal, Athens, Beijing, and Vancouver had to face a severe infrastructure burden termed as a post-Olympic venue failure.
Human Rights Violation
One of the major challenges faced by the hosting city while building new infrastructure is destroying the established urban settlements. While doing so, the most affected ones are the local populations and communities who are often dispersed and displaced.
One such incident took place during the Beijing Olympic 2008 Olympics, where 1.5 million residents were forcibly evacuated from their homes with minimal compensation. The residents were relocated to the outskirts of the city divided from family and friends. The Rio Olympic infrastructure was followed by demolition and displacement of the UNESCO world heritage sites. These acts by the organizers had faced severe criticism that turned into the military ethos.
Repressive measures within China and Tibet at the 2008 Olympic games, LGBT rights issues in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and casualties on the construction sites at the upcoming Qatar 2022 World Cup signals the human rights issues. The glory of the Olympics known for its Unity and diversity is diminishing and is more inclined towards oppression and exclusion.
The hosting country of the mega event tries to garner international prestige. It has been observed that the host country always attempts to cover the human rights violation, and often becomes a complex task for the organizers to manage the high profile political and economic problems mainly associated with International Organization Committee. Political scandals at the major sporting events FIFA and IAAF have damaged its reputations over the years.
Is Olympic Dyeing?
Earlier, the hosting cities were profitable mainly due to their earnings through TV rights. But recently the International Olympic Committee has raised its revenue percentage leading to fewer cities participating in the race to bid as the host in the following decade. The major concern of the previously hosted city is a financial failure as it requires 10 years of financial planning. The recent example is of Chicago, where the city shell out more than 100 million dollars on the Olympic campaign and it completely defunct.
Boston withdraws its bid from the 2024 Summer Olympic Games after the citizen group agitated and convinced the city to do so. The statistics of the hosting city shows that 12 cities bid for the 2004 Olympic Games, Five for 2020 and just 2 for 2022 winter games.
There is a solution for the above concerns, where Zimbalist came up with unique ideas to keep the game alive. The only solution to keep the Olympic Games sustainable, everlasting is to get rid of the bidding system and
create an Olympic Island. All the participating nations should contribute to its construction. The new permanent venue with infrastructure and built-in facilities will act as a host for the Olympics forever. Now it’s up to the IOC to support the idea for the bright future of the Olympics events.