Olympic disasters: 5 cities that spent too much

While organizers often promise the Olympic Games will bring an economic boom, citizens and governments can be left with big debts.

Olympic-sized costs
olympics olympics

Congratulations, Tokyo! You just won the rights to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Now get out your checkbook.

Politicians have long justified the enormous piles of money required to put on the Olympic Games by arguing that ticket sales, construction jobs and increased tourism outweigh the costs.

Elected officials often seek to bolster their argument by commissioning forward-looking studies that predict huge economic benefits for the host city and country.

Watch video: What an Olympic medal is really worth

But most independent economists say the Olympics price tag is more complicated than that -- and certainly not as rosy as politicians portray.

Here are a few cities that won the games but paid a financial price.


  @CRrileyCNN - Last updated January 14 2014 01:54 AM ET
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