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The financial success of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, coupled with the dramatic increase in the revenues from the sale of television broadcasting rights and the sponsorship by international companies, have brought about a growing interest by cities to host the Games. This article contends that it is possible to identify the beginning of a new phase in the development of the Olympic Games. The question asked is why are cities like New York and London so interested in hosting the Olympic Games. In the case of those world cities, the emphasis appears more on strengthening their global status in an era of growing inter–urban competition and to finance large–scale planned construction projects in those cities.