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Volume 21 No. 31
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Atlanta Olympics: By The Numbers

A look at 20 interesting figures around the 1996 Olympic Games

In one of the Games’ biggest moments, Muhammad Ali lights the flame at the opening ceremony.
Photo by: AP IMAGES
51 and 5

The number of IOC votes that Atlanta received to secure the Games over Athens (35 votes), and the number of voting rounds at the Sept. 18, 1990, meeting in Tokyo before Atlanta won, the most rounds ever for a Summer Olympics selection.

$1.7 billion

The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games’ total budget. Athens, which came in second in the balloting for the ’96 Games, would spend more than $11 billion to host the 2004 Games and finish billions of dollars in the red.

111

Domestic corporate partners, excluding IOC TOP sponsors, signed by ACOG, the most ever by a host committee before or since. In comparison, the Rio organizing committee has 48 partners this summer, while London 2012 had 42.

$10 million

Final profit from the Atlanta Games.

0-for-2

The United States’ record
since ’96 in bids to host the Summer Games again.

$456 million

Amount for which ACOG President and CEO Billy Payne sold the domestic TV rights to NBC, 25 percent less than the $600 million he once forecast.

8.32 million

Number of tickets sold, which remains a record. Ticket sales represented 15 percent of the original forecast but ultimately accounted for a quarter of ACOG’s total revenue.

197

Number of national Olympic committee represented at the Games, the first time in Olympic history that all 197 NOCs participated.

5

How many months it took NBC’s Dick Ebersol to convince Payne that Muhammad Ali, not Atlanta’s hometown favorite and 1984 Olympic bronze medal winner Evander Holyfield, should light the flame at the opening ceremony.

$9.5 million

What the city of Atlanta charged ACOG for extra police and sanitation services, the first time a host committee had to pay for sanitation.

$32.7 million

What ACOG spent on security. By comparison, Tokyo has projected that its cost of security for the 2020 Summer Games will be $1.6 billion.

1:25 a.m.

Time on Day 10 when a pipe bomb in a backpack exploded in Centennial Olympic Park. One person was killed from the blast, one died later as a result of suffering a heart attack and 110 people were injured.

76,481

The number of fans who packed the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium in nearby Athens to watch the U.S. defeat China 2-1 in the women’s gold-medal soccer match.

21.6

Average prime-time Nielsen rating for the 17 nights of coverage, easily the highest-rated Olympics in the last 20 years.

3.5 billion

Number of people around the world who watched some of the Atlanta Games on television.

93 degrees

Average daily heat index during the Games, believed to be the hottest modern Olympics ever.

3.8 million

Pounds of ice distributed during the Games, including 100 tons that were brought to the site of the equestrian events.

101
Number of medals won by Americans, giving the U.S. the top overall medal victory as well as the most golds (44).

10,000

Athletes village dormitory rooms turned over to Georgia Tech and Georgia State University after the Games to house students.

18

Number of Izzy costumes produced. Designed by Atlanta-based firm DESIGNefx, the mascot was ridiculed by the media from the moment it was introduced at the closing ceremony in Barcelona and wound up being excluded from Atlanta’s opening ceremony.

— Compiled by SportsBusiness Journal research