1st Edition

Hosting the Olympic Games The Real Costs for Cities

By John Rennie Short Copyright 2018
    122 Pages
    by Routledge

    122 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Hosting the Olympic Games reveals the true costs involved for the cities that hold these large-scale sporting events. It uncovers the financing of the Games, reviewing existing studies to evaluate the costs and benefits, and draws on case study experiences of the Summer and Winter Games from the past forty years to assess the short- and long-term urban legacies for host cities.

    Written in an easily accessible style and format, it provides an in-depth critical analysis into the franchise model of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and offers an alternative vision for future Games. This book is an important contribution to understanding the consequences for the host cities of Olympic Games.

    1. Setting The Scene  2. The Olympics: Past and Present  3. Financing the Games  4. Bidding  5. Rising Costs  6. Costs and Benefits  7. Urban Legacies  8. Alternatives to Event Capture  A Guide to Further Reading. 


    John Rennie Short is a Professor in the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA. His research interests include cities, history of cartography, and geopolitics. He has published widely in a range of journals and is the author of 47 books. His work has been translated into Chinese, Czech, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. His essays have appeared in Associated Press, Business Insider, Citiscope, City Metric, Market Watch, Newsweek, PBS NewsHour, Quartz, Salon, Slate, Time, US News and World Report, Washington Post, and World Economic Forum.

    "Hosting the Olympic Games is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature that cautions cities about the significant financial, ecological, social and political costs of hosting the Games. After discussing the problems with the current hosting experience, Short provides a thoughtful discussion on how the system can be reformed."

    Andrew Zimbalist, Professor of Economics, Smith College, USA.


    "Unlikely to be wined and dined by the IOC, Professor Short goes for the jugular on the global juggernaut that is the Summer and Winter Olympics. Written with his characteristic clarity and élan, Hosting The Olympic Games succinctly and devastatingly unpacks the ongoing burdens of debt, redistribution, environmental damage, corruption and other ‘dirty little secrets’. Cumulatively far outweighing the positive legacies, this is a cost-benefit analysis that ends badly but calls forth a radical rethink."

    Robert Freestone, Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW Sydney, Australia.


    "Everything you ever wanted to know about the Olympic Games is in this book. Spanning from their ancient beginnings to their most recent challenges, John Rennie Short draws his readers - no matter lay or expert - into the Olympic world and allows them to navigate the complexity of the Games with ease. Critically reviewing the Games’ history, their myths and their promises, he judges the merits of hosting the Olympic Games."

    Eva Kassens-Noor, Associate Professor, Michigan State University, USA.

    "The modern Olympics require vast and sustained expenditure by their host cities in order to stage brief celebrations of sport and culture. In this book, John Short dispassionately dissects the financial implications of bidding for and staging the Games against the benefits likely to accrue. Crisply written and with an eye to possible future developments, Hosting