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The business side of the Olympics

Michael Goldman spoke to Kieno Kammies about who benefits from hosting the Olympic Games.

Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 in England. Picture: Wessel Oosthuizen / SA Sports Picture Agency.

CAPE TOWN - International Olympic Committee (IOC) members are currently gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina where they are faced with decisions that will shape the direction of the Olympic movement for the next decade.

The IOC is to make three major decisions in the next few days: choosing the host city of the 2020 Olympic Games, electing a new IOC president to succeed Jacques Rogge and selecting one sport to add to the 2020 program.

A secret ballot will be held on Saturday where votes will be placed for the 2020 host city in a choice between Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul.

On Sunday, members will decide on the new Olympic sport that's set to be added to the program.

The frontrunners are squash, a combined baseball/softball bid and wrestling, which was dropped earlier this year.

On day 10 of the conference, the IOC will vote for a new president.

Cape Talk 567's Kieno Kammies spoke to assistant professor of the sports management program at the University of San Francisco, Michael Goldman, about the industries that benefit from the hosting the Olympic Games.

Goldman, who also works for the Gordon Institute for Business Science in South Africa, said the construction and hospitality industries are the ones that really win in countries looking to host the games.

"If you look at the London Games, the Barcelona Games and even at South Africa's world cup experiences, those are the ones that get assets built in that country for future use, faster than they would have otherwise."

He said the tourism sector for these structures is primarily paid for by public taxpayer money and governments' use these events to fast track the infrastructure that their countries need.

"It puts things in place much faster and much cheaper than it would otherwise."

But Goldman said research shows emerging markets and developing economies are not best placed to host these kinds of events because it's a lot of taxpayer money coming from within the country.

"Yes the numbers look good but that's economic activity generated internally, it's not external money that's coming in."

He said there may be more pressing priorities in those countries.

Goldman added it's what happens after the tournament that matters more.

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