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New York and New Jersey residents should feel very fortunate that London, England won the 2012 Summer Olympics bid. London taxpayers will be on the hook for millions of pounds to cover cost overruns for venues built specifically for the Games. A decade following the Sydney, Australia Games, venues used for the event are being maintained by taxpayers. Greece spent 5 percent of its gross domestic product monies on the 2006 Athens Games. It took 30 years to pay down the debt on the 1976 Montreal Olympics with all sorts of taxes, including a 17 cent per pack cigarette tax, being assessed for decades long after the closing ceremonies at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. The main stadium for the Beijing Games in 2008 is gone.
Despite all the evidence that the Olympics traveling show is a financial fiasco for host cities and now American TV networks, cities are still going after the Games. There is a question whether Annecy, France has the appropriate funding to remain in the running in the last month leading up to an IOC decision on the 2018 Winter Olympics site. That is the lasting Olympic legacy. A taxpayer draining two-week corporate bazaar that features a few athletic events and cable/satellite TV subscribers facing rising rates because someone has to pay for the television rights for the Games.
Evan Weiner, the winner of the United States Sports Academy's 2010 Ronald Reagan Media Award, is an author, radio-TV commentator and speaker on "The Politics of Sports Business." His book, "The Business and Politics of Sports, Second Edition" is available at bickley.com, Barnes and Noble or amazonkindle.
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