How does the spend on Common Wealth Games compare to other sporting events?

by Manshu on August 21, 2010

in Economy

Stories about the Common Wealth Games are almost always about corruption, inefficiency, and poor planning, and while we all know that paying 4000 bucks for toilet paper and 6000 bucks for umbrellas is over the top – how does the total spend compare with what other countries spend on sporting events?

I looked up CWG games spend for the last host – Australia, and found that they were able to do it in about 1 billion dollars, and were really really close to their budget. That’s quite below the 6 billion or so India will be spending, but then Australia didn’t have to spend on Infrastructure like India does.

So, let’s look at another emerging country then – China hosted the last Olympics in the most magnificent way ever, and spent about $42 billion on it!

I looked at a few other countries, and realized that these comparisons are not straight because of the definition of  what is part of Olympics, CWG or Winter Olympics spend. Emerging nations take this opportunity to upgrade their infrastructure, which will be used long after the games themselves, but a lot of it is counted as part of the games spend, and then there is the difference in size,  year of these events, and even the exchange rates.

All that said, here is a little map of sporting spend of a select few countries (mouse over to see values). Most of them are past events with the exception of India’s CWG, Brazil’s FIFA World Cup, and London’s Olympics which are estimates.

I’d say this is more fun than instructional due to the limitations I noted above, but you can still get a glimpse of how much various countries spent on these events.

Here is a list of these events along with the source of the data if you are interested. Let me know what you think.

S.No. Country Total Spend Event Year Source
1 China 42.00 Olympics 2008 Link
2 Greece 16.00 Olympics 2004 Link
3 United Kingdom 22.60 Olympics 2012 Link
4 Germany 1.40 FIFA World Cup 2006 Link
5 South Africa 5.48 FIFA World Cup 2010 Link
6 Brazil 41.70 FIFA World Cup 2014 Link
7 India 6.23 Common Wealth Games 2010 Link
8 Australia 1.00 Common Wealth Games 2006 Link
9 Canada 2.50 Winter Olympics 2010 2010 Link

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