Economists and public health experts called into question a top Florida official’s request to the International Olympic Committee to consider relocating the 2021 summer games from Tokyo to his state.
In his letter to the sports governing body, Jimmy Patronis ― the chief financial officer for the state of Florida ― cited reports that Japan has decided to call off this summer’s games due to the pandemic after already delaying the event by a year. (The IOC has called such reports “categorically untrue.”)
“There is still time to deploy a site selection team to Florida to meet with statewide and local officials on holding the Olympics in the Sunshine State,” Patronis wrote. “I would welcome the opportunity to pitch Florida and help you make the right contacts to get this done.”
He touted Florida’s “ample hotel capacity and well-maintained transportation network” as well as the state’s “12 major universities that have existing sporting facilities.”
“I think most importantly, however, we have a state with leaders who are willing to get this done,” Patronis wrote.
Victor Matheson, an economist at Holy Cross and an expert on the economic impact of the Olympics, called Patronis’ proposal “batshit crazy.”See HuffPost