2010 Vancouver Games broke even

 2010 Winter Olympics logo Pictures, Images and Photos

It appears that the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver ended up breaking even. This is a better result than these games turn out for many other cities, often resulting in a big loss. However, for Canadians this result is not as good as it sounds.

Breaking even is generally not a great result because the point of anything is to earn a profit. When you look at Winter Olympics however, breaking even seems fairly good because not only do many host cities/countries end up with a loss, but the benefits to the host country are hard to account for in dollars. Factors like improved national pride and increased participation in sports are more difficult to calculate a dollar value for. There are also reports to that tourism in Vancouver is up due to the Winter Games so that is positive news.

On the down side, the only reason these Winter Games ended up breaking even was because the federal government gave them over $1 billion. To me, this money should not be counted and I see the result as a loss. Federal money means that Canadians that don’t live in Vancouver at all had to help pay for this. People living in Toronto have not and likely will not see a return on this investment, so for them this is a waste of their tax dollars.

The other negative to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games is that there is a potentially large opportunity cost here. By Vancouver hosting the Winter Games in 2010, the chance of a bigger city like Toronto hosting a bigger event like the Summer Olympics is greatly reduced. Toronto would have a good chance to earn a profit if they hosted the Summer Olympics because of their proximity to major U.S. cities, the fact that they are in the highly lucrative Eastern Time zone and the scale of a Summer Olympics. It is also hard to calculate the dollar value for that, but overall I don’t see the 2010 Winter Games as breaking even at all.