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Salt Lake City Olympic bid projects $4b budget for 2034 Winter Games

Sports Scene

The Olympic logo. /CFP
The Olympic logo. /CFP

The Olympic logo. /CFP

Organizers for the proposed 2034 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City released their first budget estimate on Monday, projecting total costs of just under $4 billion, with $2.84 billion of that price tag slated for operational costs.

The committee said even though there will be 40 percent more events than the last time Salt Lake City hosted the Olympics, the number for operational costs for 2034 is one percent lower than that for 2002 when adjusted for inflation.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will study the numbers later this month, and is expected to officially award the 2034 Games to Utah's capital at a meeting on July 24 in the lead-up to the Paris Summer Olympics.

Salt Lake City has been focused on using many of the venues that were in play for 2002. It says no new venue construction is planned for 2034, as it will use facilities that have been kept in use and upgraded since 2002.

Olympics are notorious for coming in over budget, and also for being difficult to track money-wise – in part because of the different elements that make up "operating" and "total" costs and also because of an often-opaque process used in filtering those numbers through governments and the IOC to the public.

"One of the statements that Fraser makes often is that Olympic budgeting is, in fact, an unofficial Olympic sport," said the bid's chief operating officer Brett Hopkins, who explained the budget in a media call along with bid CEO Fraser Bullock. "There is just a tremendous amount that goes in behind the scenes."

If Salt Lake City can come close to these numbers, it would represent a remarkable shift from the last few Winter Games.

Russia spent a reported $51 billion on staging the 2014 edition in Sochi, which included massive transportation and housing projects.

Four years later, South Korea spent $12.9 billion for the 2018 Games that were originally projected at between $7 billion and $8 billion. 

The Salt Lake City organizers released projected revenue figures that estimate they will break even with the help of a target of $1.8 billion in domestic sponsorship.

The committee is budgeting for a $260 million legacy contribution to support local community sports programs, which is part of the non-operational spending and could be diminished if the numbers don't add up.

Bullock acknowledged the ever-shifting nature of Olympic budgets, but said it was Salt Lake City's mission to not spend more than it makes on the 2034 Games.

"This budget we've gone through, we're probably on iteration 'over a hundred,'" he said. "That's just the dynamics of budgets for Games. As you learn more and you get more information, they constantly evolve."

Source(s): AP
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