What happens to cities after they’ve hosted the Olympic Games. Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit are attempting to finish their photography project with this Kickstarter campaign, The Olympic City.
Much has been documented about this topic before (see Greek debt after 2004 Summer Olympics), but I don’t think many people have attempted to visualize the true effects and impacts to these cities after the “hangover” kicks in. From the photos on the campaign’s webpage, I think The Olympic City has the potential to reveal overlooked aspects of the urban changes.
FYI: Hustwit’s credits include the documentaries: Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized.
-Hall, C. Michael, and Julie Hodges. “The Party’s Great, but What About the Hangover?: The Housing and Social Impacts of Mega-Events with Special Reference to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.” Festival Management and Event Tourism. Volume 4, Numbers 1-2, 1996 , pp. 13-20(8).
-Kasimati, Evangelia. “Economic aspects and the Summer Olympics: a review of related research.” International Journal of Tourism Research. Volume 5, Issue 6, pages 433–444.
-Waitt, Gordon. “Social impacts of the Sydney Olympics.” Annals of Tourism Research. Volume 30, Issue 1, January 2003, Pages 194–215.
[photo via Encylopedia of French Cultural Heritage]
Sports team owners have long leveraged their franchises to get cities to fight over the privilege of being their hosts. Who usually wins in these fights? Typically team owners. Who usually loses? Typically taxpayers.
Even when there are attempts to reduce the liability to taxpayers. See what happened in Pittsburgh with the new Penguins’ stadium.
It has been over a year since Deadspin leaked financial documents of the Florida Marlins that contradicted statements by team owner Jeffrey Loria that his team lost lots of money. After he used those statements to convince Miami-Dade County Supervisors to build him a new stadium. And after Miami-Dade County took loans that would essentially cost county residents $2.4 billion over 40 years. It finally seems that the Federal government, via the Security And Exchange Commission, is going to take an active role in investigating the information divide, which also involves Major League Baseball.
What does this mean for the future? I would not be surprised if the SEC began investigating the financial records of other baseball teams after it finishes with the Marlins. Of course, the backlash against publicly funded stadiums has been growing for year. Maybe, it will finally come to an end, or at least slow down. And this does not simply pertain to MLB. All sports stadiums are fair game.
[image via South Florida Baseball]