How are the Olympic Games financed?

  • How are the Olympic Games financed?

    The budget for the Olympic Games has naturally evolved over time and varies for each edition depending on the current context of the host city. However, the basic principles of financing the Games remain broadly the same and can be broken down into two distinct budgets:

    The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) Budget

    This is mainly privately financed with a large contribution from the IOC that comes from its different revenue sources, including The Olympic Partner (TOP) programme and the sale of broadcast rights for the Olympic Games.

    The IOC contributes a large part of the finances needed to stage an Olympic Games. It will contribute, for example, more than 1.5 billion USD to the success of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. For the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, we will invest 880 million USD in addition to providing other benefits. The IOC also provides the possibility to the Games organisers to commercialise the Olympic rights in their territory as well as to manage the ticketing of the event. Another revenue source for the local organisers is a national partnership programme.

    As part of its contribution, the IOC pays for the host broadcast operation, Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS), and provides various forms of Games support to the OCOG including through its “Transfer of Knowledge” programmes.

    The most recent editions of the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games have all either broken even or made a profit.

    The Non-OCOG Budget:

    This budget is generally under the control of the local authorities and comprises several elements:

    Capital Investment budget (Competition and Non-Competition venues) - This is directly related to the construction of the permanent competition and non-competition venues which must have a long term legacy. The financing of such investments are usually undertaken by the public authorities and/or the private sector.

    Operations budget - This includes the operational services of public authorities in support of the Games (such as security, transport, medical services, customs and immigration, etc.).

    In addition, each city/region/country has a long-term investment plan for general infrastructure which deals with wider infrastructure investments that the host country and city are making independently of the Games, such as investments in roads, airports and rail ways. How this is funded and the scope of this investment plan very much depend on what already exists in the city and the long term development vision of the city and country.

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