Year after year, more and more cities debate upon the hosting of Olympic Games, questioning whether it is worth taking the financial risk (The Guardian, 2017). It has been argued around the legacy of Olympic Games and Telegraph (2017) states that it just has recently begun. Well, one of the most analysed topics is linked to the economic impacts of sport venues, as they can positively or negatively affect a wide range of people, the community and stakeholders that take part in the process of delivering the Olympics.
Ahlfeldt and Maennig (2008) investigate the people behind the development and funding of sport stadiums affirming “that the expenditures will be good investments, due to the creation of construction jobs and attracting businesses and tourists, leading to stimulation of spending in the community and increased tax revenues”. Therefore local economic benefits and spending are seen as potential positive impacts of a sport venue. Controversially, studies by Ahlfeldt and Maennig (2008), Li and McCabe (2013) and Crompton (2014) debate upon the proposed economic impacts and suggest a more critical approach. High expectations should be only assumed, not by optimistic assumption, but also using research due to its increased complexity.
Now that 2016 Olympics have been held, Brazil is facing new challenges by falling into a state of disrepair is just one of the titles recently appeared in the press (The Guardian, 2017). Only six months after delivering the games numerous major Olympic venues in Brazil have been looted and currently are not in a very good condition (Flamer, 2017). A good example is Rio’s iconic Maracana stadium, which is currently empty and the discussion is who should manage the stadium (BBC, 2017). Is it the government or the private owner? Will then the city continue to function as before with no impacts? Although Brasil signals the start of the post Games Legacy by hosting alternative events, it is still early to comment on the actual long term impacts of Rio 2016 Games (Olympic, 2016). Yet, unfortunately, a definite answer cannot be given.
With the expectations bar raised higher and higher every 4 year the future includes infrastructure costs, increased technology requirements and security demands. It is wise to examine both positive and negative aspects concerning the impacts of sports venues in order to effectively measure and evaluate the actual extent of the impacts. However, despite of all the positive arguments some of the Olympic venues were abandoned and never used again, representing a total waste of space, resources and money (Waldron, 2017). Cities, known as ‘ghost cities’ appear after the Games have been hosted and no longer represent an interest of any kind for the public. Some of them have been repurposed and used as military facilities, or simply adapted by extreme sport fans in their BMX races (Business Insider, 2016).
However, the costly long-term economic impacts as a result of the construction
of numerous sports venues are often overlooked in favour of the short-term ones, resulting in ‘ghost cities’ and financial losses.