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.