What happens to Olympic facilities after the games are over?

The truth is, it's basically a crapshoot. Some Olympic parks become ruins, while others are reborn. Perhaps the most depressing example of the former is Athens, the birthplace of the Olympics. Of the 22 venues built for the 2004 games, only the badminton stadium, transformed into a theater, remains open. The other 21 venues have fallen into disrepair and have to be watched by security guards to prevent vandalism.

Other former Olympic host cities have fared better with the venues and infrastructure they built.

The area around Sydney Olympic Park, the site of the 2000 Summer Games, was intended to undergo an urban renewal project before Sydney won the bid for hosting, and since then many of the original development plans have been carried out on the site. A mix of commercial and residential construction has been completed and more is planned, including office buildings, a school, hotels and apartment buildings. The Olympic venues themselves host some 1,800 events annually, including the MTV Australia Awards, Australian Rugby League games and the Big Day Out music festival.

Centennial Olympic Park, the site of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, has similarly found a variety of uses and spurred development in the surrounding area. The park is the site of the On the Bricks summer concert series and Atlanta's Independence Day concert and fireworks display. Recent development close to the park includes the World of Coca-Cola museum and the Georgia Aquarium.

While that's all encouraging, does the continuing use of the facilities actually do any good for the host cities? According to the researchers at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, it does. The university's Technical Assistance Center released an economic impact statement in 2006 that showed the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) in Lake Placid, site of the 1980 Winter Games, generated more than $356 million in revenue across New York state in 2004-05. Some $310 million of that came from spending by tourists who visit Lake Placid to ski, snowboard, bobsled, etc. in the Olympic venues.

Not all of Lake Placid's former Olympic park is open to tourists, though. In the mid 70's, Camp Adirondack opened on the old site of New York's first state-operated tuberculosis sanatorium. The prison camp was home to a program where inmates performed various jobs for the state's Department of Environmental Conservation, from constructing campsites to maintaining buoys on the lake. When Lake Placid was chosen to host the 1980 Games, the inmates constructed the Olympic ski trails. Once the games began, they were relocated to other prisons while the camp facilities housed Olympic staff and two hundred acres of camp land were used for the construction of athlete housing. After the games were over, Camp Adirondack became Adirondack Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison, and the former athlete dorms became the site of the Federal Correctional Institution, Ray Brook.

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Quick True/False: World Capitals
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10 Pats Born on St. Patrick's Day
A photo from the 1919 wedding of Princess Patricia of Connaught to the Hon. Alexander Ramsay.
A photo from the 1919 wedding of Princess Patricia of Connaught to the Hon. Alexander Ramsay.
Bain News Service - Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Need some St. Patrick's Day conversation fodder that doesn't involve leprechauns or four-leaf clovers? Ask your friends to name a "Pat" born on St. Patrick's Day. If they can't, they owe you a drink—then you can wow them with this list of 10.


Princess Patricia was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who gave up all of her royal titles when she married a commoner. She was born at Buckingham Palace on March 17, 1886.


The Dallas star was born on March 17, 1949. And here's a totally random fact about Duffy: His nephew is Barry Zito, former MLB pitcher for the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants.


Pattie Boyd
Larry Ellis, Express/Getty Images

Pattie Boyd is well-known to lovers of classic rock: She has been married three times, including once to George Harrison and once to Eric Clapton, who both wrote a couple of the most romantic songs in rock history in her honor (including The Beatles's "Something" and Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight"). Boyd was a model when she met Harrison on the set of A Hard Day's Night in 1964; the pair were married two years later. They divorced in 1977 and she married Clapton, Harrison's close friend, in 1979. She also had an affair with Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones toward the end of her marriage to The Quiet Beatle.


Belfast-born Pat Rice is a former footballer and coach who spent the bulk of his career with Arsenal F.C. (that's "football club," a.k.a. soccer to us Americans). He joined the Gunners in 1964 as a mere apprentice, turning pro a couple of years later. He became captain in 1977 and left the club for a few years in the early 1980s to go to Watford, but returned after he retired from playing in 1984. In 2012, after nearly 30 years with the organization, he announced his retirement.


Patty Maloney is an actress with dwarfism who stands just three feet, 11 inches tall. She has appeared in many movies and T.V. shows over the years, including operating the Crypt Keeper puppet in Tales from the Crypt. She also played Chewbacca's son Lumpy in The Star Wars Holiday Special.


Michael C. Hall and Mathew St. Patrick in 'Six Feet Under'

Ok, so Mathew St. Patrick is the stage name of the actor, but he was born Patrick Matthews in Philadelphia on March 17, 1968. You probably know him best as David's boyfriend Keith on Six Feet Under.


He may not be a household name, but the recording artists Patrick Adams writes for and helps produce certainly are. Adams has been involved in the careers of Salt-N-Pepa, Sister Sledge, Gladys Knight, Rick James, and Coolio, among others.


It's possible you look at Patrick McDonnell's work every day, depending on which comics your newspaper carries. McDonnell draws a strip called Mutts featuring a dog and a cat named Earl and Mooch, respectively. Charles Schulz called it one of the best comic strips of all time.


 Singer/Guitarist Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins performs onstage during Live Earth New York at Giants Stadium on July 7, 2007 in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Evan Agostini, Getty Images

Yes, you know him better as just plain old Billy Corgan: he's the face of the Smashing Pumpkins, engages in public feuds with Courtney Love, and maybe once dated Jessica Simpson. He made his debut on March 17, 1967.


Patricia Ford is a retired model probably best known for her Playboy photoshoots in the 1990s.


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