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Economy

Mega-Events Are a Disease

Seven reasons they’re so terrible for cities.
Brazilians protest the housing shortages and wasteful spending associated with the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Brazilians protest the housing shortages and wasteful spending associated with the Rio 2016 Olympics.AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

Pick a mega-event, and chances are you won't struggle to find something about it that went terribly, terribly wrong.

Athens lost billions of euros on the 2004 summer games en route to an economic collapse. Sochi built an outrageous train line for the Winter Olympics that was barely running a year later. New York's much-hyped mass transit Super Bowl left some fans stranded for hours. Thousands of people were evicted so Brazil could host the World Cup in 2014, and thousands of construction workers will die so Qatar can host it in 2022.