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Economics of Olympics: 'Usually benefits overstated and costs underestimated'

28 July 2021 6:29 AM
Tags:
FIFA
Olympics

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at University of Pretoria Prof Heinrich Bohlmann.
  • Benefits are overstated and the costs are overestimated in events like the Fifa World Cup and Olympics, says Prof Bohlmann
  • Many stadia are left unused or underutilised after the event
  • Many countries do not have the market to sustain these facilities

Image: Yazan Rihan on Pixabay

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Prof Heinrich Bohlmann, an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Pretoria, about the economics of major international sporting events such as the Olympic games.

There have been so many cases where venues and stadia are simply left unused after the games as special facilities have to be built which will only be used for a few weeks, agrees Bohlmann.

Usually, the benefits are overstated and the costs are underestimated.

Prof Heinrich Bohlmann, Department of Economics - University of Pretoria

In a country like South Africa, it would be the use of scarce resources. He says this is what happened in the preparation for the Fifa World Cup where 5 stadiums were built.

We probably built 4 stadiums too many.

Prof Heinrich Bohlmann, Department of Economics - University of Pretoria

The market in SA was never ready to utilise 5 massive stadiums.

Prof Heinrich Bohlmann, Department of Economics - University of Pretoria

Sport is not just about economics though he says.

There is no doubt we enjoyed the party but most countries cannot afford the party.

Prof Heinrich Bohlmann, Department of Economics - University of Pretoria

But, from an economic perspective the host country always ends up paying a large part of the bill, he says.




28 July 2021 6:29 AM
Tags:
FIFA
Olympics

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