With the Olympics in full swing, the world is tuning in continuously on their mobile devices, on computers and on TV to catch the action. But even with the Olympic fever running rampant, is it safe to say the Games are a success financially? To answer that question, first we need to see just how much the Olympic committee spent on this year’s Games. This 2012 interactive Olympic venue infographic by Cash Store details some of the key costs that created the $14.5 billion budget. The Olympic Games may highlight the world’s best athletes but it’s the costs that will last much longer than the 17 day extravaganza.
Image: 2012 London Summer Olympic venues created by Cash Store
From a spectator point of view, the games have lived up to the anticipation with a memorable opening ceremony, positive attendance at even the more understated sports and, of course, result upsets that remind us all that favorites are not winners until the final bell sounds.
Committee members and city officials may have a different opinion of how well the Games have done. Many in the past have said that hosting the Olympics is more of a financial burden that comes with hopes of recouping those costs with future events. London residents and even some reporters have noticed that there is a certain ease they’ve found traveling the normally busy streets. According to the Daily Mail, tourism travel is down two-thirds with popular attractions and hotel bookings seeing a measureable difference in their numbers from last year.
Some 300,000 tourists were expected in the capital. This estimate led the planning committee to increase the security budget to $867 million alone. This may partially be because of the high profile nature of this year’s guests – the Royal Family to be exact. In comparison to the Beijing Games, London is being frugal, even if they’re original budget was exceeded nearly four times over. Four years ago, China spent $40 billion as the host country because unlike London they had to build their infrastructure from the ground up. London was able to utilize venues like Wimbledon Lawn and Horse Guards Parade even with simple upgrades.
However, with only 5 days into the games, it’s still too early to call the Games a bust. And let’s not forget that the Paralympics will follow in weeks after the closing ceremony. In many ways, London’s expense sheet is pulling double duty to entertain sports enthusiast. Despite the price tag, the Olympics are always an enjoyable spectacle and you can bet your bottom dollar that Brazil is taking notes for 2016.