London Olympics and the False Promise of Sports-Led Redevelopment


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.