Government report claims Paris 2024 could be €500m over budget
The cost of organising the Paris 2024 Olympic Games could run €500 million ($615 million) over budget, while plans need to be tweaked to ensure all venues are completed in time, according to a French government report.
The report by finance, sports and infrastructure inspectors called for the site of the planned Olympic Village in Saint-Denis, a poor suburb to the north of Paris, to be revised. It is claimed the site, which is intended to house the athletes and then become 3,000 affordable housing units after the games, is close to a planned construction of a metro extension, which contains archaeological remains, and as such could cause delays.
The report also suggested the media village be scaled down and warned that the planned Aquatics Centre, next to the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, and surrounding developments were at risk of running as much as €170 million over-budget. The proposed budget was €130 million.
“At this point the total potential risks identified by the cases under consideration stand at €500 million,” the report, released on Friday, said, noting the figure could be kept to €200 million if its recommendations were followed.
“Nonetheless, the main risk is that indispensable structures are not delivered in time for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
The overall budget for hosting the games was initially set at €6.8 billion, with public money contributing €1.5 billion.
Separate reports from the Senate and the public audit office have already warned that a major expansion of the Paris metro network may run billions of euros over budget and not be ready in time for the Olympics.
Throughout the bid phase, Paris 2024 championed that 95 per cent of venues for the games either already exist or will be temporary, meaning cost overruns were unlikely. However, two of the biggest construction projects were the athletes’ village and aquatics centre.