Even better in retrospect

We used to be good at stuff

We used to be good at stuff

For all the flack we get as a city these days, Atlanta has done a few things right over the years.  Exhibit A was the Olympics.  With the exception of Eric Rudolph, the Games went off very well.  No public money went into the production of the Games (although we did spend $500 million on infrastructure), and the Games themselves made a cool $10 million profit.  Most importantly, from the city’s perspective, is that the legacy of the Games was largely as-planned.

Atlanta was left with a great stadium, dorms for GSU (now Georgia Tech), a lot of new housing downtown, a new mixed-income community to replace Techwood Homes, and Centennial Olympic Park.  You know, the park that has been the focal point for all that investment in the Aquarium, the new World of Coke, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, not to mention a renovation of CNN Center and new developments like the Embassy Suites, Allen Plaza, Museum Tower, and the Hilton Garden Hotel.

Consider Vancouver, and how awful it all could have gone:

The original cost estimate was $660 million in public money. It’s now at an admitted $6 billion and steadily climbing. An early economic impact statement was that the games could bring in $10 billion. Price Waterhouse Coopers just released their own study showing that the total economic impact will be more like $1 billion. In addition, the Olympic Village came in $100 million over budget and had to be bailed out by the city.

Yowza.  It’s not just Vancouver, though – China and Greece now have a bunch of empty venues and spent billions in public money for the games.  And of course NBC is losing about $250 million on the deal this year.  (It’s Conan’s revenge!)  Check out the whole summary of Olympic discontent at The Sporting Blog.  Any way you slice it, though, we have to be one of the best examples for how to use the Olympics to actually help the city.

3 Comments so far

  1. tomitron (unregistered) on January 28th, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

    i would agree, except for izzy


  2. Sarah (swampgravy) on January 28th, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

    And from what I hear, most of the streets in Atlanta didn’t have proper signage until the Olympics. (Of course, a lot of them still don’t.)


  3. Rob (unregistered) on January 30th, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

    My partner and I are thinking of moving to Atlanta soon. We really like the diverse are of Midtown and are looking for a place to meet other gay couples. Any suggestion of good places to like. I tend to like the high-rises and my partner like a few of the town houses that we have seen. Please post any information or suggestions on my blog page.
    http://web.me.com/rwgrimm/Robs_Blog/Blog_with_Rob/Blog_with_Rob.html



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