Hamburg has estimated the cost of hosting the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games at $12.5 billion, with the public sector likely to be called upon to contribute $8.3 billion of this overall sum.
Figures presented by Olaf Scholz, Hamburg’s Mayor, suggest that the North German port-city would expect to receive $3.8 billion from International Olympic Committee (IOC) contributions and ticket sales, with a further $394 million coming in from land sales in the redeveloped “OlympiaCity” zone that would form the Games hub.
The combined cost of this OlympiaCity area, on an island called Kleiner Grasbrook, and of Olympic venues, such as a new Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre, is put at nearly $6.4 billion including $175 million for the proposed sailing venue of Kiel.
Disclosure of these detailed cost projections is likely to signal the start of full-blooded campaigning ahead of a November 29 referendum that will determine whether the bid can in fact go ahead.
The outcome of this poll is of paramount importance, not just for this bid, but for the Olympic Movement as a whole.
Recent times have seen St Moritz/Davos, Munich, Kraków, Stockholm, Oslo and Boston turn their back in one way or another on the chance of hosting an Olympic Games.
Another thumbs-down would not only make it hard to see how the Olympics could possibly be staged in the country of the current IOC President Thomas Bach for the foreseeable future, but could increase pressure on other candidate-cities to stage their own referenda.
A recent opinion poll provided a boost to the bid by indicating that 63 percent of local residents supported it.
It should soon be possible to judge whether today’s concrete assessment of the likely cost of pursuing the city’s Olympic ambitions will have an impact on this level of support.
Bid chief executive Nikolas Hill indicated recently that he was determined to produce a realistic cost figure, rather than an ultra low-cost price-tag that would inevitably need to be revised upwards.
The fact that today’s figures are in 2024 euros, tends to increase their plausibility, although an estimate of $519 million for security might be seen as optimistic in some quarters.
Other big-ticket items include nearly $2.6 billion for transport, including a road tunnel and a new subway station and extension, and $1.5 billion for the harbor.
The four rival bidders to Hamburg are Budapest, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome, with the IOC due to select the winner in September 2017.
A feasibility study for the Paris bid produced early this year put its budget at $7 billion, including organisation and infrastructure costs.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Inside the Games.