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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > September 2016 > Are the Olympics worth the money?

Are the Olympics worth the money?

The Duel

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The Olympics in Rio are expected to cost £8bn, a modest amount compared with London (£18bn) and Beijing ($44bn). However the price tag for hosting the Olympics and the often poor returns are discouraging cities from making bids.

YES Why should the most-watched global event ever end? It began in 776 BC, as a unifying sporting and religious event offering a temporary truce between Greek city states. Ever since its relaunch in 1896 in Athens, it has been moving from city to city every four years almost uninterrupted.

But there are negatives. Doping and political propaganda have tainted the Olympic spirit. There have been major financial mishaps. Some cities, fearful of the expense, no longer bid for the opportunity to host them. In 2004, Athens—the first city to host the summer Olympics after 9/11—faced a sharply increased security bill. The total cost of $9bn was substantially more than the $6.6bn Sydney had to find in 2000.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s September issue: Paul Johnson argues that there is no getting away from the fact our economic prospects have got worse post-Brexit. Paul Wallace attempts to outline how the government will try and deal with that situation, while Nicolas Véron suggests that The City of London will decline outside the European Union. On a brighter note, Clive James explores what we can learn from the television show Mad Men. Also in this issue: Patience Wheatcroft, the Conservative peer, suggests that Brexit might not be a done deal with a rebellion in the Lords possible. Thomas Chatterton Williams explores the work and Beyoncé and argues that black artists are failing to say anything profound and James Dyson outlines how he would rule the world.
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