May 30, 2014 11:55 am
Updated: May 31, 2014 12:02 am

Bids for Olympic games declining due to high cost: Is hosting worth it?


WATCH: The IOC is having trouble finding a host city for the 2022 games. And as Ted Chernecki reports, that’s leading to speculation that previous hosts could step in.

The number of countries bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics is dropping due to the expense of hosting the games, according to reports.

The trend has been dubbed “the Sochi effect,” because of speculation Russia’s $51 billion games are scaring off other countries from hosting.

Story continues below

Poland, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany have all dropped their bids after residents voted against it in referendums. People in those countries didn’t support spending the money, according to the Associated Press.

While not all Olympic games cost as much as Sochi, it’s unclear whether hosting the event actually boosts tourism and economic spinoff.

According to a University of British Columbia study on the impact of the games, the $7 billion Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 drove important infrastructure improvements to residents, but not necessarily a boost in tourism.

“Well before the Olympic bid, regional and provincial governments knew that funding was needed for three major infrastructure projects: the Sea-to-Sky Highway upgrade, the Canada Line light rapid transit extension to Vancouver International Airport, and a major expansion to the Vancouver Convention Centre. The Olympics offered an unparalleled opportunity to gain federal and provincial collaboration and support,” UBC researchers said in a statement.

Following the Olympics, the report said there was a minimal increase, if at all, in the number of tourists visiting throughout the year and no increase in how much visitors spent.

There was an increase, however, in Canadian pride and nationalism.

“The Sochi effect” is a stark contrast to what UBC researchers called “the red mitten effect” of the Vancouver games.

“These red mittens have been used to raise money for athletes of all levels in every part of Canada,” said UBC professor Rob VanWynsberghe, who conducted the study’s research. “There is something in Canadian nationalism, pride and identity that was strengthened by the 2010 Olympics.”

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.