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Why it’s a good thing that LA won’t be hosting the 2024 Olympics




The Opening Ceremony at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
The Opening Ceremony at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Steve Powell/Getty Images

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L.A. lost out to Boston as the U.S. candidate to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. But maybe that’s a good thing.

Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist lays out all of the reasons in his new book “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup.” According to Zimbalist, even though national pride is at stake, hosting bids are driven by private economic interests. In order to accommodate these games, billions of dollars will be borrowed to build out infrastructure. Often times, the wealthy are the only ones to reap the benefits of these investments.

That isn’t to say there haven’t been winners in the past. We’ll take a microscopic look at what the circumstances and policies need to be in place for a successful event.

Guest:

Andrew Zimbalist, Professor of Economics at Smith College and author of the new book, “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup” (Brookings Institution Press, 2015)