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Hosting the Olympics Is a Bad Deal for Host Cities, and Tokyo Is No Exception, Says Holy Cross Sports Economist

Associated Press
June 21st, 2022 by 
Victor Matheson, professor of economics. Photo by Tom Rettig

The final cost for the COVID-delayed Tokyo Olympics is double the original estimate, coming in at $13 billion or 1.4 trillion Japanese yen, according to the organizing committee, with more than half being taxpayer money.

Victor Matheson, a professor of economics at the College of the Holy Cross and renowned expert on sports economics, spoke with Associated Press about the economic impact of hosting the Olympic Games on host cities.

According to Matheson, who researched Olympic costs and benefits in a study called “Going for Gold: The Economics of the Olympics,” the overwhelming conclusion is that “in most cases, the Olympics are a money-losing proposition for host cities; they result in positive net benefits only under very specific and unusual circumstances.”

“The goal should be that the costs of hosting are matched by benefits that are shared in a way to include ordinary citizens who fund the event through their tax dollars,” Matheson wrote in his study. “In the current arrangement, it is often far easier for the athletes to achieve gold than it is for the hosts.”

To read the full article, go to APNews.com.

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