Athens spent $15 billion on permanent stadiums for the 2004 Games, according to the Christian Science Monitor, and now many are abandoned and in various states of disrepair.
But it appears as though London will avoid this sort of catastrophe by building venues that are dynamic and temporary. It's a departure from the past, and a blueprint for how future host cities can build venues that are both sustainable and cost-efficient in the long term.
Here's a sampling of what the big venues of London 2012 will look like in the future:
The Olympic Stadium: Everyone has always assumed the stadium would be scaled down and turned into a soccer arena once the Games are over. But last year a dispute between three Premier League clubs caused a deal with West Ham United to fall through.