Advantages "Full of sound and fury…" (Macbeth)
Disadvantages "…signifying nothing." (except enormous expense)
“Winner's Curse” – defined as the tendency for the winning bid in an auction to exceed the intrinsic value of the item purchased.
So the years of waiting and wondering have passed and the games are now imminent. Arguably it is still too early to judge them, since they have not yet happened, but if I am to answer the question couched here by Ciao in the future tense – ‘will the games be a success?’ – I am running out of time in which to do so. So here’s my best stab at an answer to that question, noting that the question does not define what ‘success’ is intended to mean. To my mind, any valid definition of ‘success’ would imply an outcome in which the value of the benefits exceeded the costs, so that is the basis on which I shall attempt my assessment.
Advocates for the games argue that they will bring benefits to London, and to Britain generally, both tangible and intangible. They claim tangible benefits that would include increased revenue from tourism, the economic boost provided by building the facilities and infrastructure, other hazier ‘business opportunities’, and the regeneration of the area around the sporting sites. The intangible benefits would be derived from the international prestige that goes with hosting such a high-profile event, and from the ‘feel-good factor’ – a supposed enhancement to national morale. Intangible benefits by their nature cannot be quantified and will be considered later, but in the case of the tangible benefits a monetary evaluation can at least be attempted:~ Tourism. The planners originally envisaged increased revenue from tourism of over £2bn, both from higher numbers of visitors and higher spend per head.
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