Timmy elsewhere

The truth is that if the lycra-clad superjocks want to have a jamboree that’s their right and privilege, of course it is. But there’s absolutely no reason why we should pay for it – we being the taxpayers of whichever urb is mad enough to agree upon hosting.

The Olympics: Just Say No.

43 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. Your article ignores intangibles like the longer-term value of gaining increased global exposure for a city’s brand.

    And the intangible of lots of people quite liking things like the Olympics.

    Never £20bn worth, of course. But if the costs were 1% of that they’d be a lot easier to justify.

  2. Why “stadia”? That’s the plural of “stadium” in Latin, but Tim was writing in English, and English doesn’t form plurals like that.

    That sort of pseudo-Latin pendantry is as justifiable as the injunction to never split infinitives 🙂

  3. Read somewhere the genius idea they actually should make them truly the olympic games. And actually do it fairly close to mt Olympus. Then you’d only lay out the once for the infrastructure.

  4. Spot on, Tim. Staging the Olympics is always a ludicrous waste of money. The Olympic movement should decide on permanent home for the games, built and maintained at the expense of private sector sponsors. And the obvious location is Athens — though, given the Gallic inferiority complex, France would doubtless make a tiresome and noisy claim (cf the Strasbourg EU parliament building).

  5. Hallowed Be

    Mount Olympus is northern Greece. Olympia, where the ancient Games were held, is in the western Peloponnese, ie southern mainland Greece. The modern town of Olympia is rather isolated, has poor communications, and is a bit of a dump. So not likely to be a centre of anything, though the ruins of the sanctuary are very impressive, as is the site’s museum.

  6. >Your article ignores intangibles like the longer-term value of gaining increased global exposure for a city’s brand.

    The only time that’s possibly happened is Barcelona, the Olympics did seem to give that a long-term tourist boost. But I don’t think it would have made much difference to London, Sydney, or Rio, and so on, it’s not like they needed the exposure.

    It might have made a difference to Atlanta, but it hasn’t, has it? The fact that Atlanta even staged a Games has slipped very lows in the public memory banks.

  7. though, given the Gallic inferiority complex, France would doubtless make a tiresome and noisy claim

    … which would also be entertaining.

  8. All that makes perfect sense to anybody except the people who choose the venues.

    Oh to be courted like an Olympics venue inspector…

  9. Perhaps the middle way is best, and that is to hold the games twice in the same place, effectively halving the construction cost per Games

  10. “Your article ignores intangibles like the longer-term value of gaining increased global exposure for a city’s brand.”

    Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London, Rio, Tokyo

    Any of these needs exposure to increase the value of its brand? Maybe Athens but none of the others.

  11. Tel>

    I’m not going to say it’s always justified as a marketing strategy, but it can be – or could be with sufficiently low cost and high impact.

    Montreal is an interesting example. Famous for costing the earth, but it’s not like Montreal would even begin to register as a world-class city without it.

    If you look at Paris’s current longstanding image problem – it’s currently widely viewed as dead, a place to visit museums and admire history, not to live – there’s certainly a lot of room for some good marketing to resurrect it as a globally attractive city.

  12. Synp>

    That’s a bit like saying that Coca Cola doesn’t need to advertise because it’s one of the most well-known brands in the world. There’s ample evidence to the contrary.

    Do note I’m not talking tourism, I’m talking about the ability of a city to attract residents.

  13. The “facts” on here can be taken with a pinch of salt, yes the London Olympics of 1908 and 1948 made a profit, but 90million dollars to convert the London Stadium so that West Ham could play football for nothing is more than slightly out of sync with the truth.
    And the two USA games that made a profit used old stadiums or refurbished ones and commercial sponsorship, yet somehow that was wrong despite all the sports being professional !

  14. In the case of Paris, more than a decade of socialist/green politics would lay any city to waste.

    The Olympics budget should be limited to ticket sales and subscriptions.

  15. The Olympics are an anachronism. They’re about the early 20th century when things like international travel and planning things on an international basis were expensive and difficult. So, you didn’t do it often. You had a committee that fitted a load of sports together, got venues together. Maybe you chartered a boat for everyone to travel on.

    If the Olympics didn’t exist today, would we create them? No. Most of these sports also have world championships. The rowers, horse riders and 100m people are capable of getting a venue, selling tickets and meeting up there. So, why bother having the Olympics?

  16. just to add: same with the Eurovision Song Contest. Complete nonsense on stilts when kids are downloading Korean K-Pop on YouTube.

  17. The UK messed up badly with the licensing, the marketing and the ticket sales.
    Not to mention the extremely low budget.

    Here’s an idea – take a country with lots of space and decent infrastructure links.
    Build an Olympic park permanently. Specialist buildings for specialist purposes as needed and link to the existing infrastructure.
    Athletes stay in a series of hotels hired for the event with block booking. Visitors stay in other hotels or campgrounds etc. The site can be used on an ongoing basis for multiple sports over the years and the Olympics every 4 years. And every country sending participants to the games pays a portion of the setup and running costs on the basis of how much they put teams / individuals in.

  18. Tel,

    “The only time that’s possibly happened is Barcelona, the Olympics did seem to give that a long-term tourist boost.”

    But it’s more complicated than that.

    Yes, tourism rose by a ratio of 3.75 from 1991 to 2010 in Barcelona, but then, tourism rose by a ratio of 2.5 in Venice and 1.8 in Amsterdam. There was a general rise in tourism in that period caused by things like Open Skies.

    There was also a lot spent on improving the city as part of hosting.

    On top of that, the Olympics created lots of new hotels and the result of that was a glut of rooms after the event which made Barcelona a cheap weekend place to go.

  19. After the London fiasco/scam–CM bollocks opening ceremony and no ads along the Olympic way save those who had paid the crooked IOA–it is time the travelling circus ended.

    A permanent site at Olympia is excellent. The town can be transformed and made into a permanent showcase of Western history, sport and culture (not that I care less about sport). Alright it will be one last payday for the IOA crooks and assorted contractors–but that will be their lot.

  20. Pellinor is a brave man indeed, boldly to go where no man has gone on this blog before and launch a grammatical attack on Worstall.

  21. Having studied linguistics, I am firmly of the belief that English grammar is descriptive of how people speak, rather than prescriptive of how they should.

    Which gives me a slight philosophical problem, because I’m also firmly of the belief that people keep doing it wrong… 🙂

  22. “If you look at Paris’s current longstanding image problem – it’s currently widely viewed as dead, a place to visit museums and admire history, not to live –”

    Have you ever actually tried living in Paris, Dave? If you had, you’d know that one of Paris’s problems is there’s rather too many people want to live in Paris. Which, combined with France’s insane letting regulations, means it’s almost impossible to find anywhere vaguely decent to live at any price would be affordable.
    Unless you’re proposing demolishing large sections of the city for redevelopment or provoking the armed revolt messing with the letting laws would bring…

  23. >Theophrastus died in 287bc, Tel.

    Exactly. The Games started about 500 years, and ended about 100 years, before you were born.

  24. Yes, quite right too, I agree. And the London do was a bloody nuisance.
    However, the linked article was only one click away from a (too long) article by some “Editor of CapX” called Robert Colvile wingeing on about Milo. Yawn 🙁

  25. Of course the Olympics should move to a new city every 4 years, how else would those hard working, honest, people who decide where it goes make a living?

    But if it must stay in one place the obviously it has to be France, it was a Frenchman who started the modern Olympics thing.

  26. No, Tel, the ancient Games continued until the fourth century AD.

    Ecksy: that made me laugh. Very good.

  27. Surely the criteria should be a place with an airport and lots of empty space. I nominate Harare. Mugabe fits right in with the principles of the IOC as well.

  28. The lycra clad “superjocks” like that smiling semi-trained monkey Farah should try to run authentic and proper Olympic races, like a 300 mile Marathon

  29. Ah, the original Games went on for longer than I thought. (I hope we don’t have 1000 more years of them ahead of us. Unless they take place in the nude.)

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