In anticipation of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games kicking off this weekend, Compare the Market in Australia has explored the fate of 49 Olympic Stadiums which held the opening and closing ceremonies over the past 100 years.
The research, presented as an informative infographic, shows how purpose-built stadiums are still in use and how many have since been removed or replaced. The majority (88%) of the stadiums included in the study are still standing, used for sporting events, hosting concerts, or a wide range of other cultural and corporate events.
Of the 49 stadiums studied, 22 were built specifically to host the Olympic Games opening or closing ceremonies. This includes Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, which was built to host the 1976 Games and exceeded the initial building budget by almost nine times the estimated CA$134 million cost.
Not all stadiums are built to last, however. Six of the stadiums featured in the study have been demolished and replaced with a new structure in the same location while keeping the same name, such as Bergiselschanze in Austria and National Stadium in Japan. A further five stadiums were built exclusively for the Games in which they held and were subsequently demolished soon after.
Some poorly planned projects remain sad monuments to fiscal folly. Rio’s abandoned aquatic centre has become a breeding ground for mosquitos after being left to rot and fall into dereliction. Multi-billion-dollar facilities built for the 2004 Games in Athens remain deserted, after plans to create public housing fell through.
Despite this, many cities around the globe continue to jump at the prospect of hosting such a prolific event in their own backyard, which is the case for Brisbane, Australia. Last year, it was announced that the 2032 Games would be hosted in the sunshine state down under, a feat that has locals excited according to Compare the Market spokesperson Hannah Norton.
“As a Brisbane-based business we’re delighted as anyone our city has secured the 2032 Games,” Ms Norton said.
“It’s more than just a few weeks of glory. As our research shows, it’s an opportunity to build a long-lasting legacy and infrastructure to benefit the whole community.”
When it comes to naming conventions, a surprising 22 structures have the word ‘Olympic’ in their name – nearly 45% of all included. The frequency with which the name is used suggests the magnitude of the Games’ legacy.
As for modern day stadium use that is unrelated to Olympic activities, nearly one in six (14%) of stadiums included in the research have hosted a Rolling Stones concert. This includes the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the United States, Stadio Olimpico del Ghiaccio in Italy, and two different stadiums in Germany.
Visit Compare the Market to see information on all 49 Olympic Stadiums from the last 100 years.