Organizers may promise an economic boom, but the Games often leave big debts.
Prior to the games, Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau predicted boldly that "the Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby."
He was wrong. Mismanagement and gross cost overruns left the city with a $1.5 billion debt that took three decades to erase. The final payment on the debt was made in 2006.
By that time, the local citizenry had turned the name of the city's unused Olympic stadium-turned baseball park, the Big O, into a homonym: the Big O-W-E.