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  1. #1
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    Olympic Cities - Legacies, Deficits...Do The Olympics Help Or Hurt Cities Which Host

    The Sochi Olympics will test gay rights thread has been hijacked. So I'm starting this thread so that the Sochi Olympics will test gay rights thread gets back on topic. Points brought up in that thread which pertain to this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    I think the Olympics are just a nice way to bankrupt a country for the sake of sport. Look at all the billion dollar venues that are now in ruins.
    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Skatefan View Post
    Which venues are those?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Pretty much every single city that has hosted the Olympics. Best recent example is Athens. Unused, unneeded venues, falling into ruin already.

    Other than Barcelona and maybe one or two other examples, all the cities hosting the Olympics failed to turn the games into long-term development and just managed to bankrupt themselves.

    It will be interesting to see how London fares. It's something they've apparently put a lot of thought and planning into.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I understand the appeal of wanting everything centralizied- but what city could possibly use and support all those sports facilities? Having the Olympics spread out over a broader area makes a LOT more sense. Then many cities in the same general area could benefit from new facilities- one a soccer stadium, one a swimming, one a track, etc, rather than one city being totally burdened by it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    I don't know, Lake Placid doesn't seem to be suffering any. The 1980 Ice arena is still in use as far as I know, and Whiteface is a draw for skiers. When my parents go up to visit my brother who lives outside of Saranac Lake, they take a bypass road so they don't have to drive through the village and get stuck in traffic.
    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    Not counting the ski infrastructure as I'm not that familiar with them (the tragedy that occurred at the Sliding Centre is well known, but beyond that, I don't think revenue generated is matching the expenses to maintain it yet), Vancouver only built two new facilities--the curling arena and the speed skating oval. Prior to conception, both were planned to be converted to recreation centres. Both are extremely well used and focal points in their neighbourhoods.

    Non-sports related, Vancouver spent a ton of money building a new transit line from Downtown to the airport--and that is extremely popular, well used. I love the Canada Line. We also improved the road access from Vancouver to Whistler. I took that route during the summer a couple of years ago and it was nice--not sure whether that has the helped the economy in any way, though, or it's caused fewer accidents and deaths.

    There was also the Olympic Village (where the athletes stayed) but I believe about 90% of the condos have been sold and the neighbourhood is really developing. I love the coffeeshop, the pedestrian bridge, the big ass birds. It's one of my favourite stops along the seawall when I run or bike.

    Turin apparently tore down its sliding centre.

    I don't know what will happen to Sochi's Olympic area. All the stadiums are built right next to each other. Great during those 4 weeks, but will they be of use in the future? And you have to build everything. I know a lot of people did not like the Pacific Coliseum for the skating, but it was existing infrastructure and we didn't bankrupt ourselves making some upgrades.
    Quote Originally Posted by Willowway View Post
    I don't know when the economics of the games went on to steriods (someone else may have a better measure of that) but it happened. I would guess that as you say Lake Placid, Cortina, places like that which were winter sports centers (maybe not huge but established) may have only benefitted. But somewhere along the way, just enhancing what was already there and adding some venues morphed into practically building a city and it's now about building a building/venue for almost every individual event and making them permanent, large structures, etc. Not to say that does't have a point but it went over into money-land a while ago and now it's complete overkill regardless of who has the games.

    Interesting article in today New York Times about Putin's most recent visit to Sochi and his complete displeasure with the cost overruns (massive although one wonders if the budget was a fiction in the first place and it was always going to cost what it is likely to cost), likely corruption on the construction side and blown construction milestones. Not so with the figure skating arena in Sochi (looks beautiful) but that may be the exception.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  2. #2
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    And some more:

    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    Although Sochi venues are somewhat centralized, at least four of the buildings are temporary and will be moved to other sites around Russia after the Games.
    Quote Originally Posted by Habs View Post
    Calgary did fine after the Olympics in '88. Many of the venues are still used as national training centres.
    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    Salt Lake (2002) doesn't seem to be in ruins to me, nor does Atlanta (1996) or LA (1984). And last I checked, Torino (2006) seemed to be doing fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    Summer Olympics, at least since Montreal, have had a worse track record than Winter Olympics.

    The gains that manhn cited came at a great cost, several times the amount it would have cost to fix the Sea-to-Sky Highway and to build the Canada Line, had there been civic will for infrastructure projects. The Canada Line, as much as I find it convenient, was third on the regional transit priorities list, and it was only bumped up for the Olympics, putting more critical projects on the back burner. The Olympic Village was touted as a private enterprise, but the City guaranteed the project, and when the private developers couldn' meet the quality requirements and timelines and faced big financial penalties for every day it was late, they left the City holding the bag. Those condos are still 10% unsold three years later, and the ones that did sell were at a discount.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/st...es-russia.html
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog...inter-olympics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_the_Olympic_Games

    It looks like Sochi is going to help even things out. Government authorities and private investors have already spent thirty-eight billion dollars on the Sochi Games, and the final cost is projected to be fifty billion dollars.

    The total cost of the Salt Lake City Games was only $1.2 billion.
    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Skatefan View Post
    That's why I loved the Vancouver games. They did their best to use existing facilities and transportation. It all seemed very economical.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  3. #3
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    And a bit more:

    Quote Originally Posted by Domshabfan View Post
    Unlike Vancouver, Sochi is building every single stadium from scratch. They want to establish Sochi as the top-notch winter sport destination not just in Russia but in Europe. For instance, Russia did not have a Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton track for a long time after the break up on Soviet union. The soviet training base was in Siguada in Latvia. Hence after the breakup they had no international tracks, now they have a track outside of Mosocw where they train. Even then if you compare this to at least 5 tracks available to Germans (all of them hosted luge world cups, 5/9 world cups where held in Germany). They also build alpine and cross country center, so Kahnty-Mansiysk is not the only good training centre.

    Sochi also upgraded its transport system, high speed railway from Moscow, Upgrading Adler airport. On top of that Sochi is going to host Russia's formula one race, so construction for that. Sochi is also one of the proposed host for the 2018 football world cup. So technical russia is fully building a city or more accurately a metropolis.

    I think Russia could do with a lot of re-building, I think Kazan is going through some amount of rebuilding for Universiade. Most of russia transport system will get a much needed upgrade by the start of 2018 world cup. The price tag is huge, if they can afford it why not.
    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Both the Hillcrest Community Centre (where the curling was held) and the Trout Lake Community Centre (whose ice rink was a practice rink) were almost compeltely rebuilt to accommodate the Olympic usage. I would classify both of those as new facilities, even though they were on the site of existing facilities.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    The Sochi Olympics will test gay rights thread has been hijacked. So I'm starting this thread so that the Sochi Olympics will test gay rights thread gets back on topic. Points brought up in that thread which pertain to this thread:
    Maybe Sochi's lasting legacy will be an improvement in the status of gay people in Russia.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Maybe Sochi's lasting legacy will be an improvement in the status of gay people in Russia.
    Are you testing me to see how long it would take for me to make all of those green blobs after your name into some red blobs???

    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

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    All's I know is this: Without the Olympics in Vancouver, I doubt 2006 Skate Canada would've been in Victoria, 2008 Canadians would've been in Vancouver, 2008 Skate America would've been in Everett, 2009 4CC would've been in Vancouver, and, of course, 2010 Olys would've been in Vancouver.

    Had I still gone to each of those events regardless of location (one of them would've been in Ontario *somewhere*), I would've spent a lot more money in transportation, hotels, food, etc. So, even if I have to pay more taxes due to paying down our province's debt, I'm pretty sure I still come out ahead.

    Of course, I may not have gone to all of those events, but that is *way* beside the point...

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    I think the future use of facilities is an important factor. Sydney's facilities are still in regular use today. But Athens' are falling apart, and most of Beijing's have stood empty since the Games finished. I think I saw a report where the weightlifting facility had been used all of once since the Games. What a waste.

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    I think it depends on the city, to be honest. Look at recent hosts. Athens olympic legacy is a mess. Venues are in shambles, money was lost and it costs a ridiculous amount of money to pay for venues that can't even be used. One of the most ridiculous things that Athens did was build permanent, multi-million dollar baseball and softball stadiums when those sports aren't even played there. Then Beijing goes and builds a permanent multi-million dollar outdoor volleyball stadium.

    I think SLC and Vancouver played it smart. They didn't go crazy with spending. They both used existing venues and the venues they did build aren't white elephants. SLC's speed skating venues and ther skiing venues have become important training centers for not only Team USA, but for athletes around the world as well.

    I am still that Soci's olympics are costing more than the past two summer games.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitneyskates View Post
    I think SLC and Vancouver played it smart. They didn't go crazy with spending.
    But it depends how you define Olympic-related spending. For the Vancouver Games there were a number of major infrastructure projects (e.g. the Canada Line rapid transit and the improvement of the Sea-to-Sky Highway going to Whistler) that the IOC required, or strongly suggested, for Vancouver to get the games, but which were billed to the province of British Columbia and not to the Games. The City of Vancouver also took a big financial hit in covering the cost overruns for the Athletes' Village.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    For Calgary it was unquestionably a benefit. From what I have read, the Olympics here made a slight profit. They also left a major legacy in the long-track speedskating facility. This made Calgary into one of the world centers for speedskating, and very likely also contributed to the development of Canada as a strong long-track speedskating competitor.

    One benefit unrelated to sports is that from what I recall it speeded up the development of the C-train (light rapid transit) system. Probably if that cost was added to the equation the Olympics may not have made a profit, but the end result was a kickstart to the overall light rapid transit. I think that kickstart was part of the reason that it became a core part of Calgary city planning. Once people saw how well it worked, it created a groundswell of support for continued expansion of the system.

    Since tens of thousands of Calgarians use the C-train every weekday, that was a huge long-term benefit for the city as a whole. (I am one of those people).

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