International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events
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International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events

Edited by Wolfgang Maennig and Andrew Zimbalist

From the Olympics to the World Cup, mega sporting events are a source of enjoyment for tens of thousands of people, but can also be a source of intense debate and controversy. This insightful Handbook addresses a number of central questions, including: How are host cities selected and under what economic conditions? How are these events organized, and how is local resistance overcome? Based on historical and empirical experience, what are the pitfalls for the organizers of these events? What are the potential economic benefits, including any international image effects? How can the costs be minimized and the benefits maximized for host cities and countries? How do these mega events impact the challenges of globalization and what is their environmental legacy?
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Chapter 28: For a Monsoon Wedding: Delhi and the Commonwealth Games

Nalin Mehta and Boria Majumdar


Nalin Mehta and Boria Majumdar 1 INTRODUCTION Delhi’s Tihar Jail is reputed to be the largest prison in South Asia. Among its more famous inmates, at the time of writing, is Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman of the Organizing Committee (OC) of the Delhi Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2010, Member of Parliament from Pune and head of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). He is being prosecuted by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation as the ‘main accused’ in a corruption case for irregularly awarding a time-scoring-result system for the Games to a Swiss company, and has separately been charged with money laundering (Kumar, 2011; Thakur, 2011).1 Eight other senior officials from the OC’s top management, including its former Secretary General and Director General, are also in Tihar Jail and being prosecuted for similar charges of corruption, criminal conspiracy, forging documents and passing them off as genuine in order to fix lucrative contracts they were awarding (Agencies, 2011).2 The now suspended head of Prasar Bharti, the host broadcaster, and the then head of Doordarshan, the state TV network, have similarly been accused by a government-appointed high level committee (HLC) investigating the Games of providing ‘undue benefit’ to key private companies, resulting in large losses to the exchequer (High Level Committee, 2011a, pp. 3, 5, 53–4). Probing the massive infrastructure building that went into the Games, the same government committee, appointed after a public outcry and led by senior auditors, also found Delhi’s state government and its various civic agencies guilty in many...

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