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The Cost of the Games

THE COST The Olympics are one of the biggest events a city can hold. But they don't come cheap. OpenCanada adds up the cost of hosting the Games. OF THE GAMES %24 A HEFTY PRICE TAG Hosting the Games costs billions of dollars. And that's just for the sporting side of things. Cities often spend billions more on infrastructure not directly related to the Olympics themselves, such as new highways or subway systems (the full cost of the Beijing Games has often been pegged at $40 billion). The numbers below are the actual costs of the last nine Olympics, including infrastructure, measured in billions of 2009 U.S. dollars. $3.8 $2.3 $4.2 $2.3 $3.0 $4.1 $5.5 $2.3 $14.8 Sydney Salt Lake Athens City 2002 Atlanta Torino Nagano 1998 Beijing Vancouver London 2010 1996 2000 2004 2006 2008 2012 COST OVERRUNS ARE STANDARD There is always a difference between the initial bid price and the price the host ends up paying. On average, the Olympics end up being 179 per cent over budget. Below are the 10 Games with the biggest cost overruns since 1960. 201% 796% 321% 73% 417% 277% 147% Sydney 2000 Grenoble Montreal Lake Placid Sarajevo Albertville Barcelona Lillehammer Atlanta London 1968 1976 1980 1984 1992 1992 1994 1996 2012 SHORT-TERM INFRASTRUCTURE Olympic venues that cost millions of dollars to build often go under- or unused after the Games are over, while maintenance bills pile up. Here are three big white elephants that have lumbered out of the Games. Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium The centrepiece of the 2008 Beijing Games is still visited by a trickle of tourists, and hosts the occasional event, but mostly sits unused. The annual maintenance cost is $15 million. US$450 million Montreal's Olympic Stadium The Big O was finally paid off in 2006, 30 years after the Games it was built for. A good chunk of the money came from a cigarette tax in Quebec. The stadium has mostly been used for concerts and trade shows since its main tenant, the Montreal Expos, moved to Washington, D.C. after the 2004 baseball season. C$1.47 billion Athens' Agios Kosmas Sailing Centre Like many of the Olympic venues in Athens, the Agios Kosmas Sailing Centre fell into disrepair soon after the end of the 2004 Games. No doubt the Greek government would be happy to have the money it spent on building the venues back now. US$144 million THE OLYMPIC HANGOVER While the Olympics spur economic growth in the lead-up to the Games, things slow down after the closing ceremonies. The chart to the right shows the average GDP growth deviation for host countries before and after the Olympics. The year before the Games The year of the The year after the Games Games +0.9% +1.1% Average economic growth -1.2% Sources: CIC Said Business School CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL DU CANADA

The Cost of the Games

shared by OpenCanada on Aug 10
0 comments adds up the hefty price tag of the Olympic Games and finds that they doesn't come cheap.



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