SBD/Issue 189/Olympics

Beijing Olympic Organizers Report $176M Profit From Games

 
BOCOG officials said that they "made a profit" from the Beijing Games, according to the AP. Figures released Friday by the Chinese government audit bureau indicated that organizers spent $2.8B on "organizing and staging the Games, including the Paralympic Summer Games that followed," which compares to income of $3B "thus far, leaving a profit" of $176M. The "biggest chunk" of income at 40% "came from broadcast and marketing rights, along with sales of tickets, souvenirs, and commemorative coins and stamps." The expenditure figures "cover only operating expenses, leaving out spending on venues and infrastructure such as airports, roads and subways" in Beijing. The bureau figures indicated that "construction and upgrading costs for 36 new Olympic venues and 66 training facilities" totaled $2.8B (AP, 6/19).

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: REUTERS' Xin & Wheatley note most Olympic host cities "make money from running the Games -- Athens in 2004 reported an initial operating profit of $155[M] -- but the bills for building stadiums and other infrastructure can take many years to pay off." The bureau said that that the profit was "more than double the most recent estimate" of $60M (REUTERS, 6/19). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's J.R. Wu writes what is "clear is that China is bent on molding a positive Olympic legacy for itself," and "audit figures won't reflect the true cost of hosting the Olympics since they don't include Beijing's $40[B] infrastructure buildup ahead of the games" (WSJ.com, 6/19).

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