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Will Russia's Sochi investment pay off?

At $50 billion-plus, the Sochi Olympics comes under scrutiny of U-T's EconoMeter panel

Roger Showley, U-T SAN DIEGO

Friday, February 7, 2014

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Kelly Cunningham, National University System
Answer: NO

Putin’s Olympic venture is characterized as a “brilliant testament to soulless central planning, federal inefficiencies, widespread corruption and inexplicable architecture, such as the now-infamous double toilets.” Russia will likely not see net economic benefit, although Sochi arguably may. At $51+ billion, the Sochi Olympics is by far the most expensive in history. Russia reportedly overspent to win rights to host it in the first place, and to construct spectacular facilities around Sochi. A lot of the construction looks remarkable and will likely appear exceptionally good for global television broadcasts, but the costs for such a high-cost boondoggle is likely not justifiable.