The estimated cost of hosting the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles has risen from $5.3 billion to $6.9 billion, partly because of inflation when the city’s hosting was shifted from 2024 to 2028, partly because these damn things always go over budget.
The good news: Olympic organizers project more in revenues as well, so the games are still expected to break even. The less good news: Olympic games almost never do — though at least L.A. is reusing lots of facilities, such as hosting athletes in college dorms instead of building a new Olympic village, so it has a better shot at earning back its costs — and the city and state have committed themselves to cover any losses, as the International Olympic Committee demands of Olympic hosts.
And really, rising cost estimates nine years out from the actual Olympics are not what you have to worry about as a host city (or state). The worst of the overruns usually come in the final years and months, as organizers scramble to complete venues in time for the events, or pour money into extra security costs when it turns out hosting a major sporting event in the 21st century requires spending a lot of money on police. If the 2028 L.A. games really only cost $7 billion, everyone should be more or less fine; if they do, though, I will eat whatever hat I’m wearing in the future.