Olympics: Rio’s budget bash, by the numbers

July 13, 2016
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Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes says by avoiding overly flashy installations and expensive perks, the Games budget is 35 percent less than planned/AFP
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes says by avoiding overly flashy installations and expensive perks, the Games budget is 35 percent less than planned/AFP

, RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Jul 13 – Authorities in recession-struck Brazil boast that they have spent more wisely on next month’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro than past host cities.

Here are some key figures to show how much the approximately $12 billion total price tag breaks down.

Overview
  • Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes says by avoiding overly flashy installations and expensive perks, the Games budget is 35 percent less than planned.
  • However, a study by Oxford University's Said Business School indicated these Games actually overshot by 51 percent when compared to the budget presented in the host city's initial bid.

 

$4 billion Games

The overall budget for the sporting side of the Games is $4.1 billion, according to Rio city hall, with 80 percent of that from private funds.

Just over $2.0 million of that is for building stadiums and other infrastructure. The remaining half of the budget is spent on organizing the Games through the Rio2016 committee.

$7.5 billion ‘legacy’ spending

In addition, Rio authorities launched $7.5 billion worth of “legacy” investments, mostly in transport projects, with 57 percent of this bill footed by the taxpayer and the rest by private investors.

The budget and legacy investments do not include the budget for the city’s big security deployment during the Games. The federal government contributed $900,000 for that.

Good deal?

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes says by avoiding overly flashy installations and expensive perks, the Games budget is 35 percent less than planned.

However, a study by Oxford University’s Said Business School indicated these Games actually overshot by 51 percent when compared to the budget presented in the host city’s initial bid.

That is about average for a budget overshoot in the past four Olympics, said the report’s author, Bent Flyvbjerg.

The 2012 London Games cost the equivalent of about $14 billion for sports-related costs alone at the exchange rate of the time several times the initial bid budget.

“In every single Olympics that we studied, we found that the cost in the bids were exceeded, and Rio 2016 is no exception,” Flyvbjerg told AFP.

“We know that Rio has actively been trying to reduce costs and curb the cost overrun.”

Paes retorted that the overrun claim was “false.”

“There is always someone ready to bring out a little study to suit themselves,” he told AFP in an interview.

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