Rio de Janeiro was selected to host the 2016 Summer Games moments ago.

The International Olympic Committee members announced the selection of Rio from their meeting in Copenhagen. The Olympic vote often takes several rounds because the winner needs a majority from the 106 IOC members.

Although Spaniards may be disappointed that they lost the bid again–they were the runner-up for the 2012 games also–they may wind up being grateful.

Spain’s 18.5 per cent unemployment rate is the highest in Europe thanks to the collapse of its decade-long construction boom. The government of Spain promised to spend at least $3.4 billion and would likely have to spend even more on the Olympics. That’s money that would be far better spent by the Spanish government or, better yet, by the people of Spain.

The evidence from past Olympic Games suggests that they tend to be costlier than expected and result in little net economic benefit.  Montreal’s 1976 Olympics left the city with $2.7 billion of debt that it took almost 30 years to finally pay off.

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