The 2018 Winter Olympics are currently in full swing in PyeongChang. It’s the 23rd installment of the games, held every 4 years. This year they’ll run over 16 days and feature sports such as skiing, luge, skating, snowboarding and more.
On 9th February, the ceremony was opened by President Moon Jae-in in Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium. In the meantime, Norway have taken the lead in the medal count and videos of dancing stadium cheerleaders have gone viral.
PyeongChang was predicted to economically benefit from hosting. Research prior to the event by the Hyundai Research Institute predicted it would inject an eventual 65 trillion country-wide through investment, spending, and spin-off consumption.
A $100 million facility was purpose built for the Olympics and Paralympics. However plans have already been made for its subsequent demolition.
Sites like this are raising the question of whether hosting the olympics is worth it for cities without previously existing infrastructure. Despite creating over 230,000 jobs, the event could cost Korea nearly $13 billion.
This wouldn’t be problem, if the Hyundai Institute’s predictions came true. However, due to disappointing ticket sales, reports have emerged of business owners in PyeongChang who are skeptical about the olympics’ economic benefits.
Many landowners have been permanently displaced, and forced to sell property at below market rates. An annual deficit of $8.5 million has been estimated for the maintenance of remaining facilities. A conservative estimate, considering it incorporates a huge envisioned increase in tourism.
A lot of revenue made in South Korea this month won’t even stay in the economy. The International Olympic Committee will take over half of all worldwide television revenue- which is typically the largest source of money generation.
It’s not unusual for the event to make a deficit, such as Beijing’s $36.4 deficit from the 2008 Summer Olympics, and London’s $12.8 billion costs in 2012. However, it seems as though PyeongChang could make for the worst outcome in recent olympic history.
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