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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Paris Organizers Say Olympic Budget ‘Under Control’ Amid Chaos

  • Committee leaders look to project air of calm following weeks of turmoil
  • Budget projections currently on track, but final determination likely years away
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of accelerating chaos and scandal both internally and across France, the Paris 2024 Olympic Organizing Committee is now attempting to project an air of calm.

Committee president Tony Estanguet said the $4.5 billion operating budget for the Paris Olympics is “under control” — a marked change of tone for what has been to date a deeply troubled runup to the Opening Ceremonies.

With 53 weeks to go before the start of next year’s Games, the event has already been hit with serious corruption allegations and controversy over alcohol restrictions, as well as issues surrounding high ticket prices, highly ambitious event logistics, and the city’s planned treatment of its homeless during the Games.

Additionally, Paris and its suburbs have erupted in repeated riots and violent demonstrations over the past month following a deadly police shooting of a teenager at a traffic stop.

Estanguet said the committee has raised more than $1.1 billion in secured revenue from sponsors. The group aims to secure 92% of the total operating budget by the end of the year, with robust ticket sales aiding that goal.

“We continue with enthusiasm and serenity in a bid to achieve this goal,” Estanguet said.

It could be years, however, before a final determination is made on Estanguet’s current optimism. The pandemic-impaired 2020 Tokyo Olympics saw its official costs fluctuate significantly, and the Olympics generally have a long history of overrunning budgets.

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