As the International Olympic Committee embarks this week on tours of the two cities competing to host the 2024 Olympics, there’s growing sentiment that a consolation prize will be looming. To the victor: the 2024 Summer Games. And to the runner-up: Wait four years and host the 2028 Olympics.
While the arrangement could be viewed as a testament to the strength of the bids put forth by Los Angeles and Paris, it also reveals a stark reality about hosting an Olympics in the 21st century: Costs are exorbitant, economic benefits are dubious, and fewer and fewer cities bother even throwing their hats in the ring.
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