“We were told in 2006 by our elected leaders at the time that the Olympic village would be developed at, and I quote, ‘no risk to the taxpayers.’”
-Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, quoted in a Bloomberg News article that explores cost overruns in the construction of Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Village.
In a move that echoed Robertson’s predecessors, Mayor Daley famously promised that Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Games would cost “not a dime” of taxpayer money. However, in recent developments, the city was forced to put up a $500-million guarantee against shortfalls, and plans were recently announced to carve out a new TIF district to create infrastructure for the proposed Olympic Village.
“Olympic games are just not a profit-turning enterprise.”
-Kevin Wamsley, former head of the International Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario. Wamskey told Bloomberg that all recent host cities have had to subsidize the games in some form. According to the Bloomberg article, Vancouver hopes to recover some of the debt by selling residential units from the Olympic Village after the games are over.
Speaking of profitability, Chicago 2016 now expects to turn a surplus of $500 million from hosting the games – down from earlier projections of $725 million.