Sports Business: The High Cost Of Hosting Olympics

In 2018, the Rio games were estimated to have a total cost of $20 billion, far beyond the Rio organizing committee’s initial estimate of $2.8 billion. The city of Rio shelled out $8.2 billion on legacy builds, or builds intended to live well beyond the Olympic’s three-week life-cycle. Cities incurring overrun costs when hosting the Olympics is not just unique to just Rio; according to the Council on Foreign Relations, since 1960, every Olympics saw high overrun costs. As overrun costs become a growing concern, several cities withdrew their 2022 winter Olympic bids in 2014, citing the potential costs. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) enacted the Olympic Agenda 2020 in 2014; the agenda provided new regulations specifically to mitigate cost concerns. However, the IOC was faced with another challenge: hosting the Tokyo Olympics amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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