What were they thinking? “They” being the Obamas and the Chicago business and political establishment. The 2016 Olympics would have turned Chicago into a cost-overrun construction site. Instead, it’ll be Rio, that gorgeous crime-ridden city, which will go through Olympics anguish. The taxpayers will foot the bill for excess costs long after the short-term economic boost from sports-tourism fades from memory . Boa sorte, Rio! I enjoy the Olympics – from the comfort of my couch – and feel sorry for the residents of Olympic cities. “Try telling that to 180 million Brazilians,” says my DJN colleague Claudia Assis, who was born and raised in Rio. “All Brazilians are fierce nationalists in sports and oil, in that order.” Claudia cites a University of Sao Paulo study commissioned by Brazil’s Ministry of Sports saying the $14.4 billion Rio will spend to host the Olympics will – between 2009 and 2027 – have a $51.1 billion ripple-effect on the Brazilian economy. Specifically, each dollar invested in the Olympics will inject $3.26 dollars into supply chains associated with the event. We shall see.
Posted by Gabriella Stern on October 02, 2009