Scott Lehigh’s recent column on the the Olympics does a great job in summarizing my frame of mind.
I like the Olympics idea and feel we can eventually work through most of the concerns about venues, transportation, etc. But I’m most concerned about the possibility of the taxpayers picking up the tab. We need to be sure that the taxpayers cannot be tagged for cost overruns or revenue shortfalls — the Olympics product is a risky one financially and the organizers need to find a way to layoff that risk to private parties better able to evaluate and accept it.
The only way that the Olympics organizers will get private sector takers of the risk is if the upside can be made highly probable to exceed the downside. We can fairly assume that revenues have probably already been maximized in the planning. The only alternative is double down on the idea of a truly low-cost, sustainable Olympics. If the organizers move in that direction decisively, then they can reduce the risks enough that they will find private sector takers.