The Economics Of The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

July 13, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

This coming February the Russian city of Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Economist took a look at how things are going:

  • Sochi is one of the few places in Russia where snow is scarce. The organizers have stored last year’s snow in case it doesn’t snow enough this year.
  • It is also close to the north Caucasus – a part of Russia that has been involved in a civil conflict. About as many soldiers have died there as American soldiers in Afghanistan, making it akin to holding the winter Olympics in Kabul.
  • When Russia bid to hold the Olympics it proposed spending $12 billion to prepare Sochi – more than any other country.
  • It is now estimated to cost $50 billion. While most Olympic games have cost overruns of 180%, Russia’s has gone over budget by 500%.
  • Workers on the project make little money (when they’re paid at all) and sometimes have their passport revoked so that they can’t leave.

Read more about the Sochi Olympics, why Putin is looking to hold it there, and more over here.

Source: The Economist