Hosting the Olympics is typically looked upon as an opportunity to cash in for the host city. The exposure, the tourists, the building and associated jobs all seem like positive aspects of playing host. But what happens when the Olympics are over? In some cases, such as Barcelona, the city comes out on top. They are able to re-use many structures and take advantage of the added value within the region. But in many instances, the event does nothing but harm in the long run. The multi-million or billion dollar buildings and stadiums have no use once the Olympians leave town. They drift into complete disuse and become a blight on the landscape. Or, in the case of Sarajevo, political events surrounding the location lead to destruction. In these cases, the once brightly showcased places sit alone and slowly crumble to nothing.
Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics
In 1984, Sarajevo Yugoslavia, which is present-day Bosnia-Herzegovina, hosted the first Winter Olympics held in a Communist state. The Olympic Committee wanted to make an effort to eliminate politics from its decisions to select host cities.
Just 10 years after the Olympics, Yugoslavia split apart into Bosnia and Herzegovina. Unsolved issues caused bitter inter-ethnic Yugoslav wars, and Sarajevo was under siege for the next four years.
Top of the ski jump.
Athens 2004 Summer Olympics
Greece spent around $15 billion on the 2004 Summer Olympics. Most of the Olympic venues there are now falling apart.
Aquatic Center in 2004
The economy in Greece crumbled, and these venues were left empty.
OAKA Main Sports Hall
Field Hockey Stadium
This is just one of the examples of the risks of hosting the Olympics. Most of these stadiums were built for one specific sport, and many had no local interest to continue to be used.
1972 Munich Summer Olympics Abandoned Train Station
2008 Beijing Summer Olympics
The Beijing Olympics were very flashy and impressive. China spent $40 billion on the event. This is the stadium now.
Beach Volleyball Stadium in July 2008
Rowing Canals in 2008
Beijing Baseball Stadium in 2008
State in 2012
Olympic BMX Track
1936 Berlin Summer Olympics
The infamous ‘Hitler Olympics’. These sites now stand abandoned.
Helsinki 1952 Summer Olympics
Main Swimming Stadium