These Are the Actual Costs of the Rio Olympics

There’s a reason why few cities want to host the Games these days.

Charlie Riedel/AP

As Summer Olympics organizers attempt to pull off a “cool” opening ceremony Friday at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium, many Brazilians are already fed up with the multibillion-dollar spectacle that economists have called a “money-losing proposition.”

Every Olympics since the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble, France, has run over its initial budget, according to a working paper at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School. Long overshadowed by Brazil’s economic, political, and social instability, Rio 2016 is about to do the same.



We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.