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The Olympic Stadium Made to be Destroyed

Part of South Korea's $13 billion tab for the games, this stadium's next big event will be its demolition.

The financial wrecking ball that is the Olympics recently made its way through Pyeongchang, South Korea. And while memories like that of the U.S. Women’s Hockey team finally topping Canada might be considered priceless to many, they do indeed carry a price tag.

In “winning” the bid to host the Winter Olympics, South Korea estimated costs at $5 to $6 billion, including about $1.5 billion in infrastructure investment. Well, the final tally came out closer to $13 billion, with $109 million of the tab stemming from the 35,000-seat Olympic Stadium that was used during the opening ceremony, and a grand total of four times.

The building’s next big event will be its demolition. 

Instead of letting it fall into the disrepair experienced by athlete villages, skating rinks, swimming pools and numerous other highly-specialized Olympic venues, the facility will be torn down, with the materials recycled and potentially used to build an Olympic Memorial Hall and Theatre. While this might seem like a waste, it’s not quite as bad as it seems thanks to some insightful engineering. The building was constructed without a roof or temperature controls to help curb costs. 

At the end of the day, it’s projected that the Olympics will generate over $40 billion in economic activity for the country. This will come primarily from tourism activity during the games, and into the future.


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