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Everything posted by Nacre

  1. London 2012: £2 billion original budget, £9 billion final budget Sochi 2014: $12 billion original budget, $51 billion + Crimea final budget Rio 2016: $2.7 billion original budget, $13+ billion final budget Pyeongchang 2018: $8 billion original budget, $13 billion final budget Tokyo 2020*: $7 billion original budget, $30 billion final budget The $2.6 billion will likely turn into $10-$11 billion. (Also, London 2012 looks surprisingly reasonable in hindsight. Rio was a little cheaper after currency conversion and inflation, but London got more for their money.)
  2. The effect is the same, whatever the semantics. If the minimum capacity of a venue used to be X seats and the IOC allows X-5,000 seats, then there are 5,000 fewer seats available. So 5,000 fewer people will be able to attend that would have normally attended. What I am asking is who those 5,000 people will be. Will the IOC cut the seating allocated to sponsors, or athletes, of the media, or volunteers, or fans? There are ways to make this work. They can get the media to cover the games remotely. They can simply cut the perks for athletes, sponsors and volunteers. And they can sell less tickets to fans. But if the IOC is going to accept smaller venues, then they ARE going to have to make cuts.
  3. For me the concern is that they've reduced the requirements before figuring out how to manage the reductions. This is like planning a budget with reduced rent expense before you've actually found a cheaper apartment. It's not bad; I very much want it to happen and think it is a change for the better. But how exactly will it work? If the games have reduced seating capacity, who will lose out on those seats? Will fans no longer be allowed to attend in person? Will the IOC stop providing sponsors, media, etc with seats? Will volunteers and athletes no longer get to attend events? This same issue arises with reduced numbers of hotels.
  4. There's no reason why they can't make it as easy as possible, though. They can make groups out of nearby cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC, or Dallas, Houston and Atlanta. Seattle is just too isolated from other American bid cities. Paris to Berlin is only half the distance of Denver to Seattle, for example. It's a shame, though, because I think it's a pretty ideal host city for events like this. You can easily walk to the stadium from a hotel downtown, there's lots of public transit options to the stadium for an American city (tram lines, commuter rail and regional rail), and partying in Pioneer Square before or after a game is pretty great. Minneapolis would be another great host city and it's a pity it won't make the list.
  5. Only about 50% of the tickets are supposed to be allocated to local fans (although for this world cup it will be more like 60%), with the other half going to international supporters. Visiting fans are supposed to be able to follow their team during the group stages. So "evenly spreading out" teams like Germany means visiting German fans would have to travel something insane like New York-Los Angeles-Philadelphia-Santa Clara/SF. I understand that many Americans don't care whether visiting fans are miserable, of course. But I think if we are trying to be good hosts then we ought to care about the visiting fans.
  6. It should be the opposite. In a sane world they would choose group stage cities that are easy to transit between. Without Vancouver, there's no other host city within 500 miles of Seattle. So they would be better off with another city in Texas, California or New York.
  7. This is all extremely worrisome, at least to me. People celebrated at the start of WW1 and the American Civil War, and current jingoism and anti-Russian sentiment (IE demanding that all Russians living in the west denounce Putin or lose their jobs) seems very similar. We are staring at the possibility of 10+ years of insurgency in Ukraine and possible nuclear war, with the potential for over a million deaths even if there are no nukes launched. Half a million Ukrainians are already refugees and it is only the first week of the war. Russia, a country where the average citizen already lives in poverty and spends the majority of their paycheck on food, is going to face economic ruin worse than their economic disasters of the early 1990's. Russia has to be sanctioned to drain their ability to sustain a military campaign and the Ukrainians resupplied with weapons, but the west absolutely has to give Putin a face-saving way out of this.
  8. I think the only way to get rid of him is for a cabal in the kremlin to decide it's in Russia's interest for him to have a sudden heart attack. Megalomaniacs don't let go of power willingly, and sanctions have never led to regime change. Not in Cuba, or North Korea, or Iran, or Venezuela. The common people of Russia are going to go hungry, but the man ruling them will stay on his throne enjoying caviar and Russian champagne.
  9. 2022's answer to the Friends of New Germany. You would think the progress of the fighting would make them question their position, though. If liberalization makes a country weak and disunited, how do we explain a "degenerate" west-leaning and very much united Ukraine fighting very well against a less liberalized state with a nationalist neo-imperialist ideology (whose soldiers seem strangely uninterested in dying for the sake of a new Russian Empire)?
  10. The USD being the world's main trading currency also causes economic issues in the USA too (by artificially inducing greater consumption and reduced production). But I mostly agree with that. The weird thing is that China has profited immensely from the American school of economics and having an artificially weak yuan. So why would they want to make the yuan the global trading currency if it means strangling their industrial economy just like the USA has during the era of the inflated dollar, or British industrial decline in the era of pounds sterling being the world's trading currency?
  11. The problem is that Putin's basis of pseudo-legitimacy was that he restored order and strength to Russia after the economic and military collapse of the post-Soviet state in the 1990's. Now 1) the ruble will be turned into toilet paper on Monday, and 2) Russia is being humiliated on the battlefield. He may not survive this literally, much less politically. Putin could care less about not being able to host sporting championships. The game he has to play now is avoiding a palace coup.
  12. Not just Europe, but even other authoritarian states like Kazakhstan have refused to help Putin. He is totally alone. I really hope that the West gives him a viable route out of this mess. A cornered and desperate tyrant with a button allowing him to nuke the world is a lot different than a cornered tyrant in a bunker with a pistol.
  13. The West can provide the weapons, ammunition, electronics, fuel, medical supplies, etc that Ukraine needs to resist. This whole thing reminds me so much of the 1930's. The Versailles Treaty was unfair to Germany, but that did not justify the German response and Germany was ultimately fooled by its own insane propaganda. Post-Soviet Russia's security needs have not been taken seriously by NATO, but that doesn't justify invading Ukraine and I think that Putin and the Russian nationalists have clearly fallen for their own lies about NATO taking apart the Russosphere against the will of its people. Ukrainians clearly have no desire to be a part of a new Russian Empire; it's not NATO pushing itself into Eastern Europe but rather Eastern Europeans wanting the freedoms and prosperity of the West.
  14. There is a lot more variance in gold medals than there is in total medals. The total medal count shows that Canadian athletes are still very good at winter sports. If anything, I think it shows that upgrades to training facilities in either Calgary or Vancouver could turn many bronzes and silvers into more gold medals for Canada.
  15. One small problem with this in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine: Russia has already been sanctioned, with Russian athletes competing for the Russian Olympic Committee instead of the Russian state. In general terms I think it would be a good idea, though.
  16. It's unfortunate that the arena in Langley so far out in suburbia. The Expo Line extension should connect the SkyTrain to Langley by 2030, but it's an hour long walk to the arena from downtown Langley. Buses are a thing, of course, but they are an added annoyance and delay. A modest new arena for Simon Fraser University (with 35,000 students and a very healthy athletic program) might be a useful asset for a future bid, and likely wouldn't be a white elephant.
  17. Canada is much better at winter sports than summer sports. Canada has a city well-positioned to host the winter games, whereas Montreal would need massive renovations of older facilities and would need to build new projects to host another summer games. And while Toronto's 2015 Pan-American Games were very sensible, they unfortunately did not provide much of value for a future Olympic bid. There is much less competition to host the winter Olympics, so there is a very good chance that a winter bid would be successful. There is more to gain economically from the winter games because they do not displace normal summer tourists and attract more visitors during the worst month of the year for hotels (February). Vancouver gained tourists from hosting its 2010 games, whereas most summer host cities actually LOSE tourists the year they host the Olympics. Since Sydney, I think the only host to gain more tourists the year of their games was Rio, which also hosted their summer games in South America's winter. It would be hard to sell Montreal or Toronto on spending billions for the sake of actually losing tourists that year. The winter games are smaller and thus cheaper overall, unless you plan to build a new city from scratch like Russia did.
  18. The seating is pretty easy to put back, and arenas can convert from a basketball court to an ice rink in as little as one night, so going from two ice rinks to a speed skating rink should be a piece of cake. I don't think that would be a major issue for Vancouver at all, as long as the community is OK with losing their ice rink(s) from a month or so during the games. If British Columbia and the cities of the lower mainland really want to host the games again the venues should not be a major obstacle. The only question is whether they really want the burden of hosting again. I do think that people in the area have a very positive view of the Olympics thanks to the overall success of the last games there, much like Los Angelinos have a more favorable view of the Olympics than people in other American cities. It's possible they would vote in favor of hosting again, and if they do the IOC has to at least consider going back.
  19. I think if Vancouver hosts again the hardest challenge will be the athletes village. Vancouver is a surrounded by water much like San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Stockholm or Copenhagen. It would be hard to find land available for such a large development anywhere near the city center, and that may hold up bidding even if the city and province and willing to host again.
  20. The problem with Vancouver hosting the World Cup wasn't the stadium, but the blank check FIFA requires to cover things like security costs. It's the same reason that Chicago declined to host despite having Soldier Field.
  21. I wish they would get rid of it entirely and replace it with a mixed format relay race that would let the general public participate. Modern pentathlon is a relic of the IOC's aristocratic past wherein they included sports that officers and the gentry would enjoy. A mixed format relay can allow hundreds of competitors to join in and allow locals to actually run, bike, etc in the games as active participants instead of simply being spectators. For example, I really love the Ski to Sea Race in my home state. It's a relay of cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, road cycling, cyclocross, running, canoeing and sea kayaking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfzL7WYQv80 Mass participation is a better strategy for winning the support of the plebs than an event like pillow fighting or e-sports.
  22. Necro'ing this just to point out what a terrible choice the IOC had in this race with the shooting of dozens of protesters in Kazakhstan last week. Kazakhstan says 164 killed in last week's protests (msn.com)
  23. Vancouver is tough for a variety of reasons. First, it's a city of transplants: many people don't have a long term stake in the community and the city's prestige. Second it's a city with relatively high housing prices and lots of homelessness and drug addiction, so people will inevitably question spending money on sports vs cleaning up Hastings Street. How do you explain Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to tourists? It’s complicated... - Vancouver Is Awesome And then there's the fact that many people feel both Whistler and Vancouver are already too gentrified and touristy for their own good. Is being an entrepot for Alaskan cruise ships really worth it for the average Canuck in the city? Vancouver has the same problems with tourism that Barcelona has, just on a smaller scale. For people who feel that way, using the Olympics to attract yet more tourists to Vancouver would be a mistake even if it works.
  24. Italy can support one sliding track with fairly modest subsidy. But they need to pick a site and a plan that will fit the long term needs of sliding sports in the country, and not just the two week event. IIRC that was the root of the problems in Torino: a defective refrigeration system was built in a rush to meet the deadline for the Olympics. It's really frustrating to see that the debate has devolved into either building palatial facilities to satisfy the federations vs nothing at all. Providing winter recreation is worth a small subsidy, and I wouldn't be opposed to building modest winter sports facilities in my home state (like rebuilding the Bakke Hill ski jumps) even without any international sports championships. But any facility built needs to meet the needs of the local community first and the IOC and the federations second.
  25. I understand why they are doing this. But . . . The problem with hosting the Olympics is not merely the total expense. It's that the things the money is spent on do not benefit the host city and country very much. Japan spends lots of money on healthcare, high speed trains and education. Yet those things benefit society and (mostly) justify their cost. Would another Olympic games benefit Japanese society to offset the cost? That is the argument they need to make. After the massive financial losses of the 2020/2021 summer games I cannot believe the Japanese people will gladly line up for more punishment.
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