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SBD Global/August 20, 2012/Events and Attractions

London Games' Economic Boost May Fall Short Of Previous Estimate

Organizers and sponsors of big events, such as the London Olympics, "like to tout the occasions' potential to boost local economies," according to Carl Bialik of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Some economists, however, "see less cause for celebration." Olympic organizers and a sponsor "forecast a long-term economic boost" of $20B to $26B for the U.K. from hosting the Games. Several economic observers who have gone back to study tax receipts and other signs of extra activity from earlier, similar mega-events are "playing the role of party poopers," as they generally have not "found much to crow over." Lake Forest College Economist Robert Baade, who has studied the impact of sporting events and political conventions, said: "Prospective promises are not likely to materialize." He pointed out that organizers and sponsors often produce the widely reported estimate. Baade: "You do have to ask yourself, 'Who's providing the analysis, for whom, at what price?'" (WSJ, 8/17).
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