By Evan Weiner |
What is it about the Olympics that drives politicians and business leaders of various countries into denial when it comes to actually figuring out what hosting an Olympics really costs and how much of that debt is shoved onto taxpayers?
Despite all of the evidence that Athens 2004 played a part in Greece’s financial problems. Despite the fact that Rio 2016 was a financial ruin for Brazil, despite all of the fiscal problems in South Korea in 2018, despite the fact that London has never really issued a financial statement about the costs of the 2012 Games in England’s capital city, politicians continue to pursue the Games.
Now comes a report that France is already preparing for a 2024 Summer Olympics financial disaster. Initial reports have been released that cost overruns if building plans are not changed may reached 500 million euros which is around $625 million US. The French government report suggested scaling back plans for a media center and the swimming venue. Additionally, some of the venues may not be ready for the start of the Olympics in the 2024. That is six years and a few months from now. The Paris Olympic Committee is getting 1.5 billion euros from taxpayers.
The Paris metro system needs work and politicians have used the Olympics as an excuse to upgrade a system that probably needs repairs. The transportation upgrade is not considered money for Olympics projects but it seems that the work will be costlier and might not be ready for opening ceremonies which again is six years away. The question of why politicians want to get involved with the Olympics is never answered. Right now, there are seven countries that have expressed interest in the 2026 Winter Games. Calgary, Alberta in Canada, along with Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Italy, Japan and Austria. Taxpayers will be asked for money. The Games must go on, it’s the Olympics.
By Evan Weiner for the Politics of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.