While hosting the Games is associated with national pride and hopes of increased employment, tourism and investment, such hopes have often been belied. Most host cities have lost money after hosting the Games, one of the few exceptions being Los Angeles in 1984 which already had the infrastructure.
Host cities have also struggled to maintain the infrastructure after completion of the Games which require huge capacities, stadia and facilities that prove difficult to sustain. In 1976, Denver had in fact backed out of hosting the Olympics after Colorado voters indicated that they didn’t want to pay for the Games.
The Games this year in Tokyo has been mired in controversy, primarily because experts feared the Games would be a super-spreader since an overwhelming majority of the Japanese population are yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The fear of the virus is keeping spectators away and advertisers in Japan are dropping out. Not surprisingly, Japan has given up on gaining any revenue from Tokyo 2020 Games.
Ironically, the IOC on the other hand will still rake in its share of revenue from broadcasting rights and direct sponsors, which explains its insistence that the Games, postponed last year, be held at any cost.
The Games in Japan, some say, are jinxed. But Japan and Tokyo are not the only ones in history to have suffered from rank, bad luck. Japan had actually bid successfully to host the Games in 1940, the first country in Asia to have won the bid. But its war with China in 1937 intervened. Several nations threatened to boycott the Games in response and Japan forfeited the right to host the Games, citing rising costs of the war, as well as floods in Tokyo, Yokohama, and Kobe.