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What is the cost-benefit analysis of hosting the Olympics?

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cost-benefit analysis of hosting the olympics
Summer Olympics in Paris 2024. Photo/Eurosport
  • Paris 2024 Olympics comes in July 2024
  • It involves a huge amount of funds
  • Developing the necessary infrastructure such as stadiums accounts for a huge cost

Paris 2024 Olympics comes in July 2024 and one of the biggest questions is cost-benefit analysis of hosting the Olympics. Undoubtedly, hosting the Olympics is a monumental undertaking for any country.

It involves a huge amount of funds going into different things such as infrastructure, security, logistics and promotional activities. Therefore, before any country commits to hosting the Olympics, it must conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to evaluate the potential economic impact.

In this article, we find out what goes into hosting the Olympics. We examine the economic benefits, advantages, disadvantages, costs, and financial incentives associated with such an event.


A proper cost-benefit analysis of hosting the Olympics involves meticulous planning and evaluation. Some of the factors to consider include the following:

Infrastructural Development

Developing the necessary infrastructure such as stadiums accounts for a huge cost in the Olympics budget. Where there are already built stadiums, there is always the need for upgrades. These gobbled up a lot of money.  Other sports facilities also benefit from such a monumental event.

cost-benefit analysis of hosting the olympics

Expected scenes at the Paris Olympics 2024. Photo/


Security preparations for the Olympics are broad and intricate. They include taking measures in setting up systems to assess threats including but not limited to cyberattacks, terrorism and crowd control. Venue security is also a huge part of security planning and it focuses on enhanced security on each venue. Setting up surveillance systems, bomb detection, and access control among others accounts for a huge chunk of the budget.

Other security measures taken into account include transportation security involving athlete transportation and the safety of public transportation.


A budget is set up for logistics for all staff and participants involved in the Olympics and it is not a cheap affair.


With a clear cost-benefit analysis of hosting the Olympics, you can figure out the economic benefits to a host country. They include the following.

Tourism Boost

One of the primary advantages of hosting the Olympics is that it boosts tourism and hospitality industries in the hosting country. The influx of tourists during the Games stimulates spending on accommodations, dining, shopping, and entertainment, generating revenue for local businesses and government coffers.

Urban Development

Moreover, hosting the Olympics catalyzes urban development and infrastructure improvement. Host cities invest in building or upgrading sports facilities, transportation networks, and public spaces, leaving a lasting legacy of modernized infrastructure for residents to enjoy long after the Games have ended.

International Reputation

The Olympics also provide an opportunity for host countries to enhance their global reputation and attract foreign investment. The international exposure garnered from hosting such a prestigious event can showcase the host country’s cultural heritage, innovation, and hospitality, positioning it as an attractive destination for tourism and business opportunities.

Job Opportunities

The manpower needed to set up and run all necessary systems; from stadiums, logistics, and facilities to many others creates employment opportunities.

With advantages in hand, what could be the disadvantages of hosting the Olympics?

Financial Strain

Debt loads from stadium and infrastructure expenditures often last for years. It’s possible that these “white elephant” facilities won’t be used until later.

Social Disruption

Because of security measures and development, residents must deal with displacement, higher expenses, and disturbances to their daily lives.

Environmental Impact

Constructing venues and accommodating large crowds can put a burden on resources, cause pollution, and harm ecosystems.

Intangible costs

Local issues may be overlooked in favour of the Games, and the spirit of the event may be diminished by commercialization.


Unexpected financial and reputational harm might be exacerbated by cost overruns, boycotts, or security threats.


The costs of hosting the Olympics vary depending on several factors such as the host city’s existing infrastructure, and venue requirements. Others are security measures and promotional activities. When considering the cost-benefit analysis of hosting the Olympics, remember the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris will cost $8.8 billion (€8.3 billion).

Major expenses always result from the construction or renovation of sports facilities which carry the core of the Games. Logistics such as accommodation for athletes and visitors, transport systems and security measures to ensure the safety of participants and spectators make up the other half of the hosting budget.

cost-benefit analysis of hosting the olympics

Paris, the capital city of France. Photo/

In addition to direct costs, there are indirect expenses associated with hosting the Olympics. Some of them include administrative overhead, marketing, and operational expenses. These costs can quickly escalate, leading to budget overruns and financial challenges for host cities and governments.


Hosting the Olympics undoubtedly generates revenue from ticket sales, sponsorships, broadcasting rights, and tourism. However, it is rare for host countries to turn a profit from the Games alone. In most cases, the economic benefits of hosting the Olympics are offset by the substantial costs involved in planning, organizing, and staging the event.

But, some host cities may receive financial assistance from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the form of contributions. Usually, these go towards venue construction, operational expenses, and revenue-sharing agreements. Additionally, host cities leverage the Olympics to attract investment and stimulate economic growth in the long term.


In conclusion, cost-benefit analysis of hosting the Olympics plays a crucial role in making informed decisions. It lets you weigh the potential economic benefits against the financial costs and risks. While the Games offer opportunities for economic growth, urban development, and international exposure, host countries must carefully consider the long-term implications and ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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