Olympic economics

A $1 Billion Hangover From an Olympic Party


Well before the Games began, the global recession pushed several of the Games’s sponsors, including Nortel Networks and General Motors, into bankruptcy. Whistler Blackcomb, the resort that is hosting the Alpine skiing events, will soon be sold at auction.

Security costs, first estimated at $165 million, are now headed toward $1 billion.

Still, organizers insist the operating budget will break even. But that forecast includes $423 million in emergency money from the International Olympic Committee, and detailed financial information will not appear until after the Games are over.

As for Vancouver’s municipal government and the taxpayers, the bad news is already in. The immediate Olympic legacy for this city of 580,000 people is a nearly $1 billion debt from bailing out the Olympic Village development. Beyond that, people in Vancouver and British Columbia have already seen cuts in services like education, health care and arts financing from their provincial government, which is stuck with many other Olympics-related costs.

Comment: Denver (Colorado actually!) did the right thing to turn down the Olympics. More below. An Minnesota taxpayers .... think twice before we bid to host!

Colorado only state ever to turn down Olympics

Colorado stunned the world in 1972.

With a brash young lawyer-lawmaker named Dick Lamm leading the way, residents said they didn't want the 1976 Winter Olympics.

And they said it in a big way. The landmark vote on Nov. 7, 1972, wasn't even close -- 514,228 to 350,964. A 59.4 percent majority said they weren't willing to spend tax dollars to have the Games in their state.

2020 Summer Olympics

Legislation has been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature to create a task force to explore a 2020 Olympic bid for Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The city's past Olympic bid history included unsuccessful bids in 1932, 1948, 1952 (when the city finished second to Helsinki to host the Summer Games), and 1956. The city also finished second to Atlanta as the U.S. bid city for the 1996 Summer Olympics. TCF Bank Stadium is expandable to 80,000 seats and could serve as the Twin Cities' Olympic Stadium

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