Business of the Olympics

Sochi by the numbers

If freestyle spending were a sport in the 22nd Winter Olympic Games, Russia would easily walk off with the gold.

The price tag for the Sochi Games? $50 billion, making Sochi the most expensive games in history. Second place goes to Beijing, where spending topped more than $40 billion in 2008.

Fireworks light the sky over the Fisht Olympic Stadium as the Olympic flame is lit at the end of the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.
Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Images

Russia's initial budget for the Olympics was $12 billion, but it's not uncommon for a country to overspend. According to an analysis by the University of Oxford, average costs historically overrun by more than 300 percent.

(Read more: Why Sochi Olympics is worth the $50 billion)

Russian President Vladimir Putin's critics, particularly Alexei Navalny, argue that Sochi spending has been ridden with corruption. Navalny has even published a website ( detailing Sochi-related spending and corruption. Putin has dismissed such accusations.

Driving up the cost of the Sochi Olympics are large-scale infrastructure projects. The most expensive is an $8.7 billion road and railway.

Hotel construction challenges at Sochi

(Read more: How much is Putin worth?)

Fisht Stadium, the location of the opening and closing ceremonies, reportedly cost $780 million to build. With a capacity of 40,000, that brings the average cost per fan to $19,500.

But now at Day 5, fans aren't thinking about the Olympic price tag—except, perhaps, the fan with the most to lose: Putin.

—Mary Catherine Wellons, Social Media Director,