Cost of the Olympic Games

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The Cost of the Olympic Games is a unique megaproject of the host city and country to build the infrastructure and venues to host either the summer or winter games. In modern times, budgets allotted to the hosting the Olympic games have reached into millions and billions of US dollars and often produces profits and losses of the host city.

The table below is listing the not so hard costs of the Games. Due to the multitude of reporting methods, the table contains both the operating costs and total final costs (which include various infrastructure upgrades and security costs), known and not estimated. Net loss or gain are measured against the operating budgets. Intangible costs (such as to the environment and society) and not so total benefits (through tourism) are not included here.


Host City Year Final Operating
Total Costs Taxpayer Contribution Profit/Loss Year Debt Paid Off Notes
United Kingdom London Summer Olympics 1948 £761,688[1]
Australia Melbourne Summer Olympics 1956 £5.4 million[1]
Japan Tokyo Summer Olympics 1964 US$72 million[1]
Mexico Mexico City Summer Olympics 1968 US$176 million[1]
Canada Montreal Summer Olympics 1976 CDN$207 million[2] CDN$1.41 billion[2] Decrease CDN$990 million[2] 2006 A special tobacco tax was introduced in May 1976 to fund the loss
United States Lake Placid Winter Olympics 1980 US$49 million[3] US$169 million[3] Decrease USD $8.5 million deficit[citation needed]
Soviet Union Moscow Summer Olympics 1980 US$231 million[4] US$1.35 billion[4] Decrease USD $1.19 billion deficit[citation needed] This was the year that The United States and 64 other Nations boycotted due to the invasion of Afghanistan.
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Sarajevo Winter Olympics 1984 US$55.4 million[5] US$110.9 million[5] Increase US$10 million [5] The first Olympics since 1932 to make a profit
United States Los Angeles Summer Olympics 1984 US$320 million[6] US$413 million[6] $75 million[7][8] Increase US$250 million[9] 1984 The first Summer Olympics since 1932 to make a profit[8]
Canada Calgary Winter Olympics 1988 CDN$438 million[10] CDN$899 million[10] CDN$425 million[10] IncreaseCDN$32 million[10]
South Korea Seoul Summer Olympics 1988 USD $4 billion[citation needed] Increase US$300 million[9] 1988 A record profit for a government-run Olympiad[citation needed]
Spain Barcelona Summer Olympics 1992 US$850 million[citation needed] US$9.3 billion[11] Increase US$10 million[9] 1992 Operating costs were put at 9.1% of the total cost. The vast majority of spending was to improve infrastructure.[12]
France Albertville Winter Olympics 1992 USD $1.2 Billion on infrastructure[13] Decrease USD $67 million[13]
Norway Lillehammer Winter Olympics 1994 US$1.1 billion[14][15] US$0.25 billion[14][15]
United States Atlanta Summer Olympics 1996 US$1.8 billion[citation needed] US$609 million[7] Increase US$10 million[citation needed] 1996 Despite the profit, Atlanta's heavy reliance on corporate sponsorship drew criticism of commercialization
Japan Nagano Winter Olympics 1998 ~US$10 billion in new infrastructure[16] Net loss[citation needed] Estimated 2015[16] The full cost of the Nagano Olympics is unknown, due to Nagano Olympic Bid Committee vice-secretary general Sumikazu Yamaguchi ordering accounting documents burned[16]
Australia Sydney Summer Olympics 2000 A$6.6 billion [17][18] A$3 billion (A$363.5 million borne by the public)[citation needed] A$1.7–2.4 billion[19] Decrease USD $2.1 billion loss [20] 2000
United States Salt Lake City Winter Olympics 2002 US$2 billion [21] US$1.2 billion [22] US$600 million[23] Increase US$101 million[24] 2002 Additional security costs were incurred in the wake of the September 11 attacks
Greece Athens Summer Olympics 2004 US$15 billion[25] US$9 billion[26] US$6.2 billion[27] Decrease US$14–15 billion[28] The cost of the 2004 Athens Summer Games has been cited as a contributor to the Greek government-debt crisis. Many of the venues lie vacant and rotting; the Independent newspaper reports as many as 21 out of 22 are unused.[29]
Italy Torino Winter Olympics 2006 US$700 million[30] Decrease USD $3.2 million[31] The Italian government created a lottery game to cover its financial losses.[citation needed]
China Beijing Summer Olympics 2008 US$44 billion[32] Increase CNY 1 billion (US$146 million)[33] 2008
Canada Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 CDN$1.7 billion[34] US$6.4 billion[35] US$2.3 billion[36] CDN$925 million[34]  ? Included in the total US$6.4 billion cost are the $1 billion for security, $2.5 billion for transportation extensions and upgrades, and $900 million for the new Vancouver Convention Centre (An additional $554 million was spent by the city including a portion on the Olympic Village).[35][37][38]
United Kingdom London Summer Olympics 2012 US$10.4 billion[39] US$14.6 billion[40] US$4.4 billion[41] GBP £nil[42] 2013 Additional costs include $90 million for converting the Olympic Stadium (London) to a football venue[43]
Russia Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 US$51 billion[44] The most expensive Olympic Games in history, surpassing the previous record set by the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.[45]
Brazil Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics 2016 US$11.6 billion [46][47]
South Korea Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018
Japan Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020
China Beijing Winter Olympics 2022

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b c "Official Report of the XXIst Olympiad Montréal 1976" (PDF). International Olympic Committee. 1978. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  3. ^ a b "XIII Olympic Winter Games Lake Placid - Final Report" (PDF). International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  4. ^ a b "Official Report of the XXII Olympiad Moscow 1980" (PDF). International Olympic Committee. 1981. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  5. ^ a b c "FINAL REPORT published by the Organising Committee of the XlVth Winter Olympic Games 1984 at Sarajevo" (PDF). 
  6. ^ a b "Official Report of the Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad Los Angeles, 1984" (PDF). International Olympic Committee. 1985. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  7. ^ a b Julia Campbell. "Cost to Host Olympic Games Skyrockets". ABC News. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Olympic Cities: Booms and Busts". 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  9. ^ a b c "Beijing Olympiad: Profit or Loss?". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  10. ^ a b c d "XV Olympic Winter Games: Official Report" (PDF). International Olympic Committee. 1988. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  11. ^ Flyvbjerg, Bent; Allison Stewart (2012). "Olympic Proportions: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Olympics 1960-2012". Working Paper. Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.
  12. ^ Brunet, Ferran (1995). An economic analysis of the Barcelona’92 Olympic Games: resources, financing and impacts". Working Paper. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  13. ^ a b "Olympic Cities: Booms and Busts". 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  14. ^ a b Nina Berglund. "Lillehammer marks OL anniversary". News In English. Retrieved February 7, 2014. compared to the NOK 8.5 billion spent on Lillehammer 
  15. ^ a b "Exchange rate, US dollar (USD)". Norges Bank. Retrieved February 7, 2014. January 1994 7.5109 
  16. ^ a b c Schlotterbeck, Bianca (19 January 2012). "Nagano, Japan (Winter 1998)". Olympic Cities: Booms and Busts. CNBC. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  17. ^ Craig, David (2009). Squandered. Constable & Robinson Limited. p. 300. ISBN 9781849011617. 
  18. ^ "Olympic glory at any price? - John Madden & James Giesecke - 26 Jul 2012, Business Spectator". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  19. ^ "Sydney 2000 - Auditor Slams Costs". 
  20. ^ "Hosting the Olympics: cash cow or money pit?". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  21. ^ Roberts, Selena (2002-02-04). "IOC's Rogge Steps into the Cold - Feb 4, 2002 - The New York Times". Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  22. ^ "Olympics budget nearly $2 billion - Dec 11, 2001 - Sports Illustrated". CNN. 2001-12-11. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  23. ^ "Mitt Romney's Olympic history in the spotlight". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). 28 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "Salt Lake Tops Forecast - 2002-09-18 - The New York Times". 2002-09-18. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  25. ^ "As Olympic glow fades, Athens Questions $15 billion Cost - 2008-07-21 - The Christan Science Monitor". Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  26. ^ "How the 2004 Olympics Triggered Greece's Decline - 2012-08-02 - Bloomberg Business". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  27. ^ "Olympics 'may cost Greece dear' - 2004-06-02 - BBC NEWS". BBC News. 2004-06-02. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  28. ^ Schlotterbeck, Bianca (19 January 2012). "Athens, Greece (Summer, 2004)". Olympic Cities: Booms and Busts. CNBC. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  29. ^ "Olympic Cities: Booms and Busts". 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  30. ^ "Turin Winter Olympics 2006 - 2014-02-06 - CIPRA: Living in the Alps". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  31. ^ "Olympic Cities: Booms and Busts". 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  32. ^ "Beijing Olympics to cost China 44 billion dollars - 2008-06-08 - Pravda News". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  33. ^ "Beijing Olympics' profit exceeds 1b yuan". 
  34. ^ a b "Olympics cost B.C. $925M". CBC Sports. July 9, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  35. ^ a b "Vancouver's Olympic Games overstated legacy and ignored true costs - 2014-02-07 - Rabble Canada". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  36. ^ "IOC HEAD ROGGE HAPPY THAT 2010 VANCOUVER GAMES ARE ON TRACK - 2014-02-12 -". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  37. ^ "Winner's curse? The economics of hosting the Olympic Games". CBC News. July 30, 2012. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Olympics cost B.C. $925M". CBC News. July 9, 2010. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  39. ^ "London 2012 - Final cost of London 2012 Games revealed". Yahoo. October 23, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  40. ^ Gibson, Owen (October 24, 2012). "Olympic Games 2012 olympics olys,Paralympics 2012,Olympic legacy,Olympic Stadium,London (News),UK news,Politics,Sport". The Guardian (London). 
  41. ^ "London Olympics exceed initial budget by £6.52bn". Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  42. ^ "Locog London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,Olympic Games 2012 olympics olys,British Olympic Association,Sport politics,Sport" (PDF). LOCOG FINAL ANNUAL REPORT Page 33 (London). March 31, 2013. The results for the period show a net profit [...] which matches brought forward losses therefore bringing the cumulative financial position of the Company to £nil. 
  43. ^ Bond, David (2013-03-22). "BBC Sport - West Ham get Olympic Stadium after government ups funding". Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  44. ^ "Sochi 2014: the costliest Olympics yet but where has all the money gone?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  45. ^ Why Sochi Is By Far The Most Expensive Olympics Ever ADAM TAYLOR, JAN. 17, 2014,
  46. ^ "Finance". 2016 Working Group Report (PDF). International Olympic Committee. March 14, 2008. p. 88. Retrieved March 2, 2010. 
  47. ^ "Finance" (PDF). Rio de Janeiro 2016 Candidate File (PDF) 1. Brazilian Olympic Committee. February 16, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2010.