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PyeongChang Winter Games claim US$55 million surplus

PyeongChang Winter Games claim US$55 million surplus
October 29, 2018

PyeongChang 2018 President Lee Hee-beom has claimed that this year's Winter Olympics achieved an operating surplus of US$55 million.

The organising committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have advised that the Games achieved a total revenue of US$2.245 billion against an expenditure of US$2.190 billion.

With PyeongChang 2018 having faced a US$300 million deficit when Lee took over from predecessor Cho Yang-ho in 2016, the results fulfil a promise earlier this year by Games organisers and  IOC that a surplus would be achieved.

The IOC has avdvised that cost cutting or “revenue increasing” measures as a result of their Agenda 2020 reforms were behind the surplus.

This included 30,000 accredited seats being given back to organisers for public sale and a scaling back of International Broadcast Centre (IBC) operations.

IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games, Christophe Dubi advised "we achieved this thanks to a number of things.

"First, credit to the Organising Committee for raising more revenue than was expected, they worked extremely well on this.

"We then all collaborated.

"Agenda 2020 allowed us to review many of the baseline assumptions and make the right choice.

"It ranges from changing the main press centre to reducing the number of cars, releasing more accredited seating to PyeongChang 2018 to allow them to generate more revenues and reducing the capacity in mountain venues to reduce the complexity of logistics.

"On one hand it is raising more revenue, while the other it is about decisions that may not affect the participants but facilitating the life of the Organising Committee."

PyeongChang 2018 Organisers highlighted the role of the South Korean Government in helping them to achieve the surplus.

Lee advised "it is a great honour to be a part of an Olympic Winter Games that will not only be remembered as an economic success, but also a historical sporting event that brought the two Koreas together and contributed to world peace."

Lee claimed the surplus would be used in a foundation which will be established by PyeongChang 2018, with sport development among the legacy activities expected to benefit.

IOC President Thomas Bach promised the organisation’s share of the surplus would be returned to South Korea to support sport in the country.

Local reports last month claimed that Gangwon Province had been left with "massive debts" due to PyeongChang 2018.

It was claimed "conflict with locals and unpaid wages" were major issues and also highlighted the risk of unused venues becoming white elephants.

So far, no legacy plans have been finalised at the Gangneung Hockey Centre and the Gangneung Oval where speed skating took place, as well as the Jeongseon Alpine Centre.

Images: The closing ceremony for the PyeongChang Games (top) and the Games snowboarding run (below).

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