BC 2030 Olympic Winter Games could cost as much as USD $3 billion according to newly released figures from Feasibility Team

Costs to host the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Games in British Columbia are estimated to be from CAD $3.5 billion to CAD $4.0 billion (USD $2.7 billion to $3.09 billion) , according to a report published by the BC 2030 Feasibility Team Friday in Vancouver.

BC 2030 Feasibility Team handout, July 8, 2022

BC 2030 Feasibility Team handout, July 8, 2022

Estimates were released by the Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, together with the Feasibility Team representing the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee CPC), the organizations expected to lead the bid should it move forward if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selects the Canadian province as a preferred candidate in December this year.

Estimates are broken down between publicly funded capital investments and privately funded operational costs. Investments like venue renewals, the construction of Olympic Villages and the federally funded security budget are expected to cost CAD $1 billon to CAD $1.2 billion (USD $773 million to USD $927 million) with taxpayers across Canada footing the bill. Essential government services and discretionary spending is not included in the forecast.

A legacy of over one thousand housing units and up to twenty years of renewed sport infrastructure will remain for the community. There is no financial legacy fund included in the budget.

The planning and delivery of the Games – costs expected to be fully offset privately by broadcast, sponsorship, ticketing, merchandise and other revenue – are budgeted at CAD $2.5 billion to CAD $2.8 billion (USD $1.93 billion to USD $2.16 billion). The most lucrative broadcast rights are already locked in, having been purchased by NBC in the United States until 2032.

All estimates are based on 2022 dollars but the feasibility team ensures that several contingencies and currency adjustments are built into the equation to protect against unforeseen increases.

The Feasibility Team will look for council endorsement of plans in the July and August timeframe followed by federal and provincial buy-in from October to November.  The IOC is expected to select preferred bidders for the 2030 games in November with an announcement in December.

If the bid moves forward, a visit is expected from the IOC in February 2022 and the bid team will complete a multiparty agreement among stakeholders. The IOC is expected to elect the winning bid at the end of May 2022 at an all-members meeting in Mumbai, India.

Early this year Sapporo in Japan revealed a ¥280 billion to ¥300 billion (USD$2.4 billion to USD$2.6 billion) price tag needed to host the 2030 Games, down substantially from a proposal four years ago in a campaign for the 2026 edition.

The Hokkaido capital is proposing a more frugal project that would leverage existing venues for up to 92 percent of the needed facilities, many that were built for the Sapporo 1972 Winter Olympics.  Some of the aging venues will require major renovations ahead of the possible Games.

Salt Lake City in the United States has proposed a USD $2.2 billion budget for its reprise of the 2002 Games, a number that will increase 10 percent to account for inflation should the Utah capital host in 2034 instead.

Calculated with 24 percent inflated 2030 dollars, the bid committee estimates operational costs would amount to $1.75 billion and a $200 million contingency will protect against over runs.  An additional $250 million surplus would be earmarked for legacy projects to perpetuate sport in Utah.  These costs would be fully offset by revenues expected from broadcast contracts, sponsorships and sales of tickets and merchandise.

A Salt Lake City Games will not take taxpayer dollars directly but the entire security budget, often costing several hundred millions of dollars, is to be funded by the federal government as with most major international events in the United States.

Both the Sapporo and Salt Lake City budgets are expected to increase due to a significant rise in global inflation over the past several months.

More to come…

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