Atlanta could get a substantial boost as host of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, according to a report published yesterday in Standard & Poor's Credit Week Municipal.

"The economic stimulus associated with this event could not come at a better time as the region moves forward after the prolonged national recession slowed the growth of the late 1980s," the report says.

Standard & Poor's noted that a study by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia estimated the total economic impact on the slate will be $5.3 billion, including $1.3 billion of spending to prepare for and manage the games, and $1.4 billion in spending by out-of-state visitors.

The study, released last fall, also estimated that the increased spending would generate nearly $200 million in additional sales tax revenues for the state.

If the $5.3 billion total impact is achieved, according to Standard & Poor's, it would far surpass the $3.3 billion contribution to the California economy from the 1984 Olympic Games hosted by Los Angeles.

The economic stimulus may not be the only benefit which Georgia could derive from the Olympics, according to the rating agency.

"With growing competition from other regions and cities for overseas investment dollars, the exposure Atlanta receives from the games should help it cement business relationships with foreign investors and promote additional economic interest in the city," the report says.

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