Weekly Chart: The Rising Rio Olympics Budget

By Luisa Leme

Seven years since Rio won the bid to host the Games, inflation, rising costs, and economic woes have fattened the bill.

With less than a month to go before the 2016 Summer Olympics start, whether Rio de Janeiro’s venues are ready for the Games became the least of concerns. Instead, fears about violence, the Zika virus, and financial shortages for carrying out public services rose to the spotlight.

Most of the Olympic venues are finished or in the final stage of construction, but many of Rio’s so-called “legacy projects”—urban infrastructure to support the Games such as a new subway line—are running behind. On June 17, the state of Rio de Janeiro declared a state of emergency saying it would not be able to carry on with public health, security, and education services. The federal government provided a $900 million bailout to reinforce security during the Games.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s economic situation is very different from when the city bid to host the Games in 2009; problems such as inflation and a weakening currency are feeding cost increases to the tune of $3.3 billion, bringing total costs up to $12.0 billion. To deal with the lack of resources, the city pursued more public-private partnerships, boosting private funding for the projects. 

AS/COA Online looks at the most recent figures for the Games’ budget, highlighting ways Brazil has changed since the original 2009 bid.