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Economy

Why Can't We Just Host the Olympics in the Same Place Every Year?

Economists agree: the Olympics are bad for cities. There's an obvious solution.
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Illustration by Mark Byrnes

On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee will change the destiny of one city forever. Yes, tomorrow's the big day when committee members will decide whether Istanbul, Madrid, or Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. For the chosen city, it's a decision that could catalyze transformative infrastructure projects and long-term investment.

Of course, more likely, it will shackle the host city with cost overruns, underused venues and displaced and disaffected citizens.