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18 Apr 2005
IOC News

SportAccord – roundtable on cost and legacy of Olympic Games

The upcoming SportAccord conference in Berlin – from 16 to 20 April 2005 – deals, amongst other important themes, with issues linked to costs and legacies of the Olympic Games. A new edition of Olympic Review Focus provides details on the costs and legacies associated with the Olympic Games, aiming to clarify the facts and dismiss the fiction which is all too often associated with this topic.

Costs associated with the hosting of the Games…
The starting point of any such explanation is the basic working model by which the costs associated with hosting the 16 days of competition that make up the Olympic Games are covered by revenues gathered through the sale of broadcast rights, sponsorship, ticketing and licensing, meaning that the strictly organisational costs of the Games are thus provided for. The International Olympic Committee directly provides around a billion US dollars to these costs. In recent years, budgets of the Olympic Games organising committees (OCOGs) for running the Games have been balanced or have generated a small surplus.

… and costs of sports, venues and city infrastructure
Beyond this lie the questions related to the costs of sports venues and city infrastructure, and to how the Games leave a lasting mark on the host city, host country and its people,through their economic, urban, social or historic impact. Costs differ with regards to what facilities and infrastructure already exist and what needs to be developed. In some cities, almost all the facilities and infrastructure may already be in place before the Games (Los Angeles 1984). Other cities (Athens 2004) needed to invest more. Public authorities and private enterprises pay for this infrastructure used before, during and after the Olympic Games.

Controlling the costs
The Olympic Games Study Commission (see over), set up by President Rogge shortly after his election, has introduced a range of measures to manage the cost and complexity of the Games, whilst of course maintaining the quality of the event, for the athletes. The IOC works in a number of ways to help organising committees keep expenditure down, not least by transferring knowledge from past organisers and by working with International Federations on minimum requirements for venues.

And the future?
Future Games organisers have already taken to heart the recommendations of the Olympic Games Study Commission and, with the IOC, have looked carefully at how Games preparations can form part of sustainable plans for the future of their cities. In Turin, the redevelopment of existing venues is the dominant theme. In Beijing, the recommendation to use existing venues where possible has resulted in a number of changes from the original plans contained in the bid.

Requirements for cities bidding to host the Olympic Games
Cities bidding to host the Olympic Games are now required to thoroughly demonstrate how their plans will leave a positive legacy. They must consider both the specific recommendations and the underlying philosophy of the Olympic Games Study Commission. Bidders are required to explain how their vision for the Games fits into the long-term plans for their cities. They must describe the long-term legacy and impact, and even provide plans for the sustainable development of any new permanent buildings.

Focus - Legacies and Costs of the Games
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