Athens 2004 sees profits of 7 million

Ten months after the costliest Olympic Games in history opened in Athens, the 2004 organizing committee yesterday released preliminary results which are expected to show a 7-million-euro overall profit. The 16-day Games cost Greece a total of 8.95 billion euros, almost five times the budget of the Athens 2004 organizing committee, headed by lawyer and former conservative MP Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. Up to the March 2004 elections, the previous, Socialist government, which was responsible for most of Greece’s Olympic preparations, had claimed the total Games bill would not exceed 4.6 billion euros. Yesterday, the committee said its final balance sheet was expected to show a 7-million-euro profit. Its total expenditure amounted to 1.968 billion euros, while revenues will reach 2.098 billion. Although the initial profit is some 130 million, most of this sum has already been spent on a series of projects ahead of the Games. Athens 2004 organizers’ highest single source of revenue was television coverage rights, which totaled some 578.7 million euros. Sponsors provided another 536.7 million, while ticket sales accounted for 194.1 million – 9.2 percent of the total. On the other hand, technology employed during the Games cost some 338.8 million, followed by operational costs – such as transportation, catering, accreditation and waste management – at 309.6 million. The Olympic Flame relay and the lavish opening and closing ceremonies cost 133.4 million, while the bill for the Paralympics reached 99.4 million.