Olympic Costs: The Price Host Cities Pay Before & After the Games

A set of Olympic rings in abandoned former swim hall at the site of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Village on May 17, 2021 in Elstal, Germany. Photo Courtesy: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

From state-of-the-art stadiums to opening ceremonies that pull out all the stops, host cities pour unbelievable amounts of money into Olympics prep. In the last 15 years, millions of dollars spent preparing for the Games has easily turned into several billion and, every four years, the need to impress the world looms even larger.

But this off-field competition has led to abandoned venues, the displacement of local residents and Indigenous folks, detrimental pollution and, of course, staggering debt. As the world watches Tokyo 2020, we're taking a look at the impacts the Olympics continue to have on former host cities — even after they pass the torch.

Editor's Note: As of now, the Olympics are set to take place from July 23 — August 8, 2021. Be sure to check out "Tokyo 2020 Is Now Tokyo 2021: How Will the Postponed Olympic Games Unfold in Japan This July?" for the latest on the upcoming Summer Games.