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12 / 17    

Olympic Cities: Booms and Busts

Boom or Bust? BoomThere was a lack of transparency about the cost of the Calgary Winter Olympics. Under pressure not to be the second Olympics in Canada to make a loss, after the financial disaster that was the Montreal 1976 (see slide 16), the organizers claimed that the Games made a profit of between $90 and $150 million. This came undone after a private investigation by the Toronto Star revealed that Calgary’s organizing committee omitted the costs of building sports facilities from its figur

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Calgary, Canada (Winter, 1988)

Boom or Bust? Boom

There was a lack of transparency about the cost of the Calgary Winter Olympics. Under pressure not to be the second Olympics in Canada to make a loss, after the financial disaster that was the Montreal 1976 (see slide 16), the organizers claimed that the Games made a profit of between $90 and $150 million. This came undone after a private investigation by the Toronto Star revealed that Calgary’s organizing committee omitted the costs of building sports facilities from its figures as well as $461 million in government subsidies. With this money added in, the Games made a financial loss. Nevertheless the Calgary Winter Olympics delivered a substantial sporting legacy, state-of-the-art sports facilities, most notably the Olympic Oval-the world’s first fully enclosed speed skating rink, which would produce a steady stream of future Canadian Olympians.

Photo: Jonathan Utz | AFP | Getty Images