The IOC Is Turning Off Cities.
For anyone who has been around politics this much is known. You can hire a consultant or an economist and pretty much get the results you want because the hired help will find numbers to fit the narrative you are seeking. The Olympics is a case in point. Those who want the Olympics in town always have the correct numbers to make an Olympics bid feasible even though the reality is always something different. The Olympics plunge host cities into having generations of people paying off the event’s debt. Graz, Austria leaders wanted the 2026 Winter Olympics and a Graz University study gave the Olympics backers the news they wanted to hear. Go for the Olympics because it is a job creator and will make Graz a tourist destination for not only the 2026 Winter Olympics but beyond. How many jobs would the Olympics bring? The study claimed 24,300 full time employment positions. The Olympics would be a $1.3 billion investment and would need public money but there was a long time benefit. Graz would get worldwide exposure and free advertising. The $1.3 billion figure did not include money needed for security or for infrastructure for the Games. Ultimately, Graz Olympic backers dropped out of the race because of a lack of political support.
The Graz University study seems to have come from of the same lathe that other cities use when it comes to major events. Innsbruck, Austria was also bidding for the games and got a similar rosy picture study but selling it to a local population was difficult and a referendum asking people for approval to spend money for an Innsbruck’s Olympics bid failed. Graz voters never got a chance at deciding if it is worth investing in a 2026 Winter Olympics. Finding a place to hold the Olympics is becoming a problem as potential host cities say no.
Finding a Winter Olympics host for 2026 is becoming a daunting task.