How much will the olympics cost BC?

Astute reader Suavek just sent in the link to this story – It seems that the 2010 winter olympics are going to cost just a teensy bit more than originaly estimated. It turns out the cost will be around $1,000,000,000 more than the BC government previously indicated. For the number illiterate thats ONE BILLION DOLLARS more.

The BC auditor general just released a report that the true total cost of hosting the olympics is estimated at $2.5 billion dollars, $1.5 billion of which will come from the province. By not counting the actual cost of building all of our projects for the olympics the BC government had previously insisted that the total cost to BC would be no more than $600 million.

B.C. Economic Development Minister Colin Hansen took issue with van Iersel’s findings, arguing that the Sea-to-Sky Highway would have been improved anyway, and should not be considered an Olympics-related cost.

”Sure there’s lots of things that the government is doing that we are wrapping an Olympic flag on,” he said. ”But those are programs that are not part and parcel of us living up to our obligations for the staging of the Olympics.”

The Auditors report says “given the province has the ultimate responsibility for the financial outcome of the Games, we feel there should be regular and complete reporting of the total Games costs to the taxpayers. To date, the province has only reported to taxpayers on the $600 million envelope it has established; however, there are many other Games related cost that are not being reported as such by the province.”

The 65-page report also highlights significant problems with the management and marketing of the Olympics, and warns that costs could go even higher. Van Iersel found, for instance, that the province lost $150 million in projected revenue from broadcasting and international sponsorships by failing to adopt a routine ”hedging strategy” that would have protected them against fluctuations in the dollar.

He found, too, that the government will have to wait six years longer than expected to launch a marketing campaign, because it didn’t realize the International Olympic Committee restricts such campaigns until the previous Olympics are over. B.C. had planned to start its campaign in 2003, but now will have to postpone it until after the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing. Van Iersel said the delay could hurt the provinces plan to reap $4 billion in economic spin-offs.

The auditor’s report also notes that the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) has transferred construction risks for many of the venues to other partners. But if rising costs make it impossible for those partners to finish the job, ”there is a risk the province will have to contribute more funding to VANOC to get the projects completed,” the report says.

The province has set aside $76 million for such unexpected costs, but the auditor general also questions whether that emergency fund will be enough.

I think we all know how the BC government can GUARANTEE that they’ll have plenty of money to cover any unforseen costs: Invest in real-estate!

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Lets not forget Montreal is where many Hqs of national and international corporations are located. Ok, we're not too bad, we've 10x more casinos eventho our population is a third of Toronto.We can live with killer ferries, killer bridges, and 30-months-wait for a knee surgery for the next 30 years after 2010. :0


No worries, happens to the best of us. Thanks, but it is embarassing because you can't go back and edit a gaff like that. But at least I got the year of the Olyimpics and the city correct. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Actually, it took 30 years; they just finished paying it off in June of '06.Yeah, but they probably went way over budget right?


No worries, happens to the best of us.


Actually, it took 30 years; they just finished paying it off in June of '06.Something to look forward to… I should be drawn and quartered for that mistake. Yes, I noticed that now that you mention it. I was living in South Shore Montreal just last year and they were still paying for it (they were even increasing the gas tax for that final push). I just had a really bad case of can't-subtract-two-simple-numbers-itis. ๐Ÿ™


Don't be so glum. After all, it only took Montreal 20 years to pay off the '76 Summer Games.Actually, it took 30 years; they just finished paying it off in June of '06.Something to look forward to…

the pope

Anon 2:19 – I think its pretty clear from the wording in bc_cele's post that there's sarcasm afoot.


bc_cele, Do you think the gloom is unjustified? I don't.


I for one think two weeks of luge is worth it. Luge! In my home town! Is this the big time or what! Gives me a billion dollar boner just to think of it.


Don't be so glum. After all, it only took Montreal 20 years to pay off the '76 Summer Games.Just like every other sports-related endevor where the private sector comes begging hat-in-hand for funding the BS is always the same. The costs will be low, the economic spin-off will be incredible and it will raise the profile of the community on the world stage. In the end what happens? Same old thing. The costs have spriralled out of control, spin-offs…what spin-offs*, the private orginization gets their profit – which was guranteed by the government at little risk to them – and they leave town with the taxpayer holding the bag.Please remind me why we were so gung ho to get them.*oh you mean the spin-offs where the hotels and restaurants increase their profits while only hiring a few extra (temporary and… Read more ยป


I think now is a good time to LEAVE BC! What a joke. I can't wait to see the resulting problems from this. I don't think BC is going to be a nice place to be in a year or so.


So if I move out of BC in the next 4 years I won't be on the hook for this right?