By Kate Joseph
The 2022 Olympics still don’t have a home.
Four cities, including Oslo, Stockholm, Lviv and Krakow, have withdrawn bids this year due to the enormous cost of hosting.
The International Olympic Committee is currently faced with choosing between the two countries still in the running: Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing, China, who hosted the 2012 summer Olympics.
There are several reasons why many cities don’t want to host the Olympics, including unnecessary and lengthy construction, environmental effects, and a corrupt system.
However, cost is the main concern in consideration of hosting the games.
While temporary job creation by the thousands and tourism promotion are benefits, cities typically do not profit from hosting the games.
This year’s winter games cost Sochi, Russia, an astounding $51 billion, a huge take-off from the previous winter Olympics in 2010, which cost host city Vancouver a mere $6.4 billion. The biennial games are always an extravagant event, but Sochi was extensively panned for being extremely over the top and wasteful.
International Olympic Committee member Gian-Franco Kasper doesn’t believe this type of spending is necessary in the least.
“Russia did what [Switzerland] did in our ski resorts in 150 years in five years; that of course costs money,” said Kasper. “And then they did it in the Russian way, as big and beautiful as possible. But more than $50 billion was just too much, there’s no question.”
Kasper is not alone. The IOC also agrees Sochi was the exception and definitely not the rule going forward.
In January, IOC marketing chief Gerhard Heiberg announced plans to downsize the games to reduce cost.
“We have to go back to basics,” said Heiberg. “We need a competition where the cities will not spend that much money. If we continue what we see now, then a lot of countries will stay away from winter Olympics.”
While the bidding process for the 2022 games is disastrous at the moment, Rio de Janeiro, PyeongChang and Tokyo are firmly set to host the next three Olympic games in 2016, 2018, and 2020 respectively.