Hey, at Least We Don’t Have to Host the Olympics

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"Are we going to really get away with this?" "Hold on, I'm checking for mobs bearing stilettos." Photo: Getty Images

Think New York City is in tough shape now? Just imagine if Mayor Bloomberg had succeeded in his dream of luring the 2012 Olympic Games to New York. In the midst of this downturn, we'd be building archery ranges and badminton courts, not to mention a gigantic stadium on the West Side. Plus there'd be loads and loads of athlete housing that would, after the games, be heaped on top of a moribund real-estate market. But our near miss is London's nightmare, as the Guardian reports. The British government, which makes our own look positively flush, has had to step in and bail out the construction of an athletes village and a fancy media center to the tune of several hundred million pounds. Private investors, apparently, have better use for their cash. Londoners can pray, and maybe we all should, that by the time the Games roll around, the current troubles will be safely behind us, and London will be blessed with the world's finest urban facilities for team handball and white-water kayaking. Meanwhile, all we have is ... oh, yeah. Two lavish, taxpayer-supported palaces for our local baseball teams. But whatever, we'll take baseball over badminton any day.

Government Forced to Bail Out Major Olympic Projects [Guardian UK]