The Madeleine Brand Show for May 11, 2012

Does hosting the Olympic Games make economic sense for cities?

100 Days To Go To The Opening Of The London 2012 Olympics

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The London 2012 Olympic countdown clock shows 100 days to go in Trafalgar Square on April 18, 2012 in London, England. The opening ceremony of the games will take place on July 27, 2012.

On Friday, Olympic fans who missed out on tickets for the London Games will get another chance as organizers announced that they are putting nearly one million more tickets up for sale.

While that sounds like potential good news for the city, host cities routinely underestimate the costs and overstate the benefits of hosting the Olympics.

With Britain having already spent more than $15 billion on the games, questions remain about whether such spending will deepen the difficult economic situation facing the country.


Tony Travers is the director of the Greater London Group at the London School of Economics.

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