Olympics

London Olympics and the False Promise of Sports-Led Redevelopment

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With the London Olympics now in full swing, all that's left is to count up the number of medals awarded—and the debt accrued by city residents and taxpayers.

The total cost of staging the London games is around $15 billion and more than 100 percent over budget. Mega-activities such as staging the Olympics are often sold as economic development programs for dreary local economies, but they almost never deliver anything other than big bills and useless infrastructure.

Yet politicians love the idea of using big sporting events and stadiums and teams for economic development. As the games continue, take 10 minutes to watch this portion of Reason Saves Cleveland in which we lay out actual ways to help jumpstart local economies.

Here's the original writeup of "Encourage Bottom-Up Development," episode five of Reason Saves Cleveland with Drew Carey. Original release date was March 18, 2010.

Cleveland has spent billions on big-ticket urban redevelopment efforts including heavily subsidized sports stadiums and convention centers that have utterly failed to revitalize the citys economy. Should the city be pouring even more money into and pinning yet higher hopes on long-odds mega-projects? Or should they realize that bottom-up projects driven by the actual residents and private-sector investors are the best was to build a vibrant city for the long haul?

Reason Saves Cleveland with Drew Carey is written and produced by Paul Feine; camera and editing by Roger Richards and Alex Manning; narrated by Nick Gillespie; music by the Cleveland band Cats on Holiday. This is the fifth of six episodes that will air March 15-19, 2010.

Approximately 10 minutes long. 

Go to http://reason.tv for iPod, HD, and audio versions of this video.

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44 responses to “London Olympics and the False Promise of Sports-Led Redevelopment

  1. Hey you people, good morning!

    1. Don’t be racist, dude.

      1. “What do you mean, you people?”

        “What do you mean, what do you mean ‘you people’?”

        “Huh!”

  2. If Cleveland wants to revitalize its downtown, it should start by stop being Cleveland.

  3. P.S. That’s a good video. Reason.tv puts together a decent product, but they give it away for free. WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS MODEL IS THIS?

    1. SEE SOCIALISM WORKS!!!!1one

  4. Yet politicians love the idea of using big sporting events and stadiums and teams for economic development.

    Correction – developers love the idea of using big sporting events and stadiums and teams for their economic development. Politicians just love the headlines and the applause – and in some cases, the graft.

  5. My review of the opening ceremonies:

    Godawful. It may have been the nbc coverage but it was absolutely retarded. It wasn’t designed for the audience (a stadium and people watching on tv). They had to keep switching the camera around to show all the things going on. The China one was one of the best at this and this was probably the worst.

    1. The Exorcist theme was a nice touch. They should have had all the kids puke in their beds.

  6. WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS MODEL IS THIS?

    “Go ahead, Kid. Don’t worry, it’s pure, so you won’t get hooked.”

  7. What’s that? You don’t like my Pyramid? That’s okay. I DIDN’T BUILD IT FOR YOU.”

    1. You didnt build that.

    2. Who built the Pyramids? ELVIS.

  8. Wow, the US is terrible at table tennis. At least I have the Italians in women’s volleyball.

    1. SugarFree’s daughter (Im just guessing, she was from Lexington) won her fencing matches this morning.

      1. So lesson learned: Teenage American girls are better with swords than paddles.

        1. Uh, what weapon, rob? Foil? That’s a practice weapon. Right, heller?

          1. Foil, I think. It wasnt sabre, and I dont think it was epee.

            1. Apparently she lost in the QFs. And, yes, it was foil.

  9. I had people over to attempt to watch opening ceremonies last night. Just as it was about to start, the Ents invaded.

    Mostly, what was formerly my neighbors’ tree is now filling my back yard. Table on my deck destroyed, small damage to deck and house.

    Lost power until this morning.

    As far as I can tell, damage was limited to about a 2 block circle around my house. Freak gust of extreme wind.

    Another neighbor lost a car to the Ents.

    1. I warned you your orc plan was dangerous. Enter don’t like all those metal war machines.

      1. Enter=Ents
        Apparently autocorrect doesn’t like the word ents.

    2. So now you know – your neighbor is Saruman.

    3. Storms been nasty in KY the last month or so.

      We’ve had some outright nastiness here too in Lex.

  10. I liked it quite a bit. It was a bit quirky (and about half an hour too long), but it beat the fascist dick swinging of Beijing.

    1. ^ This. The Beijing one was like something NK would stage. This one was understated, as multi-million dollar spectacles go…

  11. The total cost of staging the London games is around $15 billion and more than 100 percent over budget.

    And all so we could get the lamest attempt at socio-economic historical revisionism, with bucolic scenes of fit and well-fed peasants frolicking around, songs sung by beautiful children, only for everything to disappear under the heavy shadow of industrialism. In the end, all saved from smokestacked oblivion by the NHS.

    1. Yeah, the NHS thing was a tad… creepy. I liked the industrial revolution bit. I could have lived without Brad and Janet or whoever that was hooking up.

      1. You are not the only ones…

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/deb…..ified.html

        1. “Article moved” – guess they changed their mind.

    2. If and when the US gets the Olympics again, maybe we can devote a big slice of the opening ceremonies to celebrate ObamACAre. Or, if, by some miracle it isn’t up and running by then, we can tell the story of Freddie Mac hooking up with Fanny Mae.

  12. When it comes to strategy, Kazakhstan is much greater than Britain.

    [subject to sample size of cycling road race]

  13. Go US men’s archery, defeating the PRK and making it to the finals.

    1. I think they defeated the ROK (South), not the PRK (North). And they lost to the Italians on the last arrow in the final.

      1. Your right, I’m a bit retarded today.

        1. By “retarded”, do you mean “drunk”?

          1. I see you speak libertarian.

  14. Or should they realize that bottom-up projects driven by the actual residents and private-sector investors are the best was to build a vibrant city for the long haul?

    But, you can’t get a good photo-op in front of a food truck. Your biggest donors can’t have sky-boxes in the local bowling alley. The local unions don’t get fat from cleaning up old store spaces. The zoning board would dry right up if you let people just sell all willy-nilly wherever they wanted to (and could make money).

    No sir. We need nice, orderly, planned cities, with big, expensive projects built by overpriced labor, driven by the vision of TOP MEN and financed with taxpayer money.

    If you build, they will come, right?

  15. A bit off-topic, I spotted this blog post from the New York Times about Detroit candidature for the Summer Olympics games.
    http://london2012.blogs.nytime…..pic-dream/

    I quoted the following posted by Brian B:“The fascinating thing is that Detroit should host the Olympics now more than ever.
    Instead of using successful,popular cities like London or squeezing the games into crowded cities like Rio (and forcing the relocation of the underprivileged) Detroit’s depopulated interior offers plenty of space for building. Additionally, Detroit has long needed major investment in mass transit. Myopic, provincial thinking has also limited the region. But a project like the Olympics could be the opportunity for outsider analysis and could become the catalyst for the kind of infrastructure rebuild that is necessary.
    The Olympic games are at their best when they are a transformative influence (think Barcelona) and since the Olympic committee likes to break new ground, why not tackle the post-industrial city? Events such as the Super Bowl have already made progress in reinvigorating the downtown. But the exponentially larger impact of the Olympics in town could prove to be a real turning point both for Detroit and the mission of the Olympic movement. At the very least, it certainly wouldn’t damage the city any further. Given the potential upside of such a legacy,the risk is worth taking and the goal is worth pursuing.
    Detroit 2024!”

    1. Additionally, Detroit has long needed major investment in mass transit.

      But a project like the Olympics could be the opportunity for outsider analysis and could become the catalyst for the kind of infrastructure rebuild that is necessary.

      ROADZ!!!11!!!!!!!Eleven!!1!1!!One

      And the Olympics already has an event that involves shooting bullets. If they had an Olympic Games in Detroit, they’d need an event for dodging bullets as well.

      1. Speaking of dodging bullets, I spotted that clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhTZJTvbmLA

  16. Wow, the US women’s soccer team is impressive. Attack, attack, attack.

  17. Should the city be pouring even more money into and pinning yet higher hopes on long-odds mega-projects? Or should they realize that bottom-up projects driven by the actual residents and private-sector investors are the best was to build a vibrant city for the long haul?

  18. iteup of “Encourage Bottom-Up Development,” http://www.notall.ru/sweeterjan/blog/ episode five of Reason Saves Cleveland with Drew Carey. Original release d

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