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  • Sochi 2014 Chief Denies Soaring Olympic Construction Costs


    Chernyshenko tells ATR the estimated construction budget for Olympic facilities and related infrastructure is only $5.9 billion (Sochi 2014)
    (ATR) Despite reports claiming construction costs for the 2014 Winter Olympics have skyrocketed 300 percent, the Games chief organizer Dmitry Chernyshenko tells Around the Rings they are delivering building venues and infrastructure on budget.

    Russian news agency RIA Novosti also claimed Wednesday that private investors in the Olympics believe they might not to see a return on their investments, citing comments made by companies involved in the massive Olympic build in Vedomosti business daily.

    Some investors are reportedly blaming state corporation Olympstroy, others say the IOC is to blame for new requirements.

    But the Sochi 2014 president and CEO hit back, insisting the reports were misleading.

    "Finances for Sochi 2014 are clear and robust; and all reporting is open and transparent," he told ATR.

    He emphasized that were two, separate budgets to for the Games.

    "The projected budget for the construction of Olympic facilities and related infrastructure is 185 billion rubles [$5.9 billion], half of which is funded through private investors," he said.

    Chernyshenko said the operating budget for staging the Games was nearly $1.8 billion, which is financed through the Sochi 2014 marketing program and guaranteed state funding.

    His comments came as IOC president Jacques Rogge toured the coastal and mountain venue clusters in the Black Sea resort Wednesday. Rogge is in Sochi for the European Olympic Committees meeting which wraps up today.
    Sochi 2014 Olympic Oval Skating Center, pictured on Nov. 22, is taking shape (Getty)
    He is expected to widely praise Sochi 2014 organizers for their progress on Games preparations at a press conference this evening.

    Rogge will attend the Russian Olympic Ball in Moscow on Friday to mark the National Olympic Committee's 100th anniversary.

    Also accompanying Rogge on the venue tour were Jean-Claude Killy, head of the IOC's watchdog for the Sochi Games, Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli, Russian NOC president Alexander Zhukov and the government's Olympics chief Dmitry Kozak.

    Killy and Felli are conducting one of their regular project reviews of preparations for the Games.

    Chernyshenko Seeks to Revive Marble Arch Plan for London 2012

    Speaking about Sochi 2014's promotional plans for next year's London Olympics, Chernyshenko insisted that plans for Sochi Center at an iconic site in the British capital were not dead and buried.

    Last month, Russia's Olympic organizers received a hammer blow when Westminster City Council rejected their ambitious proposals to build a Sochi 2014 party venue at Marble Arch to promote the Winter Olympics from May to October. It called for an ice rink arena with 725 seats, an arts and culture pavilion and a hospitality venue.

    There was widespread opposition from police, transport authorities, English Heritage and conservation experts, who cited traffic congestion, excessive pedestrian crowding, security and environmental issues among their concerns.

    But Chernyshenko told ATR: "We continue to evaluate all the concerns raised by Westminster Council and to revise our plans.

    "We hope that the Marble Arch site can be resolved in the best possible way for everyone.

    "We look forward to presenting the Sochi 2014 project to London with a fantastic educational and cultural experience."

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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