The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved of Olympic games in two or more cities or countries on Dec. 8. Under the circumstances, controversy over the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics is simmering. Some experts are pointing out that disputes between the central government and Gangwon Province have led to such a result.
The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are estimated to cost 13 trillion won in total (US$11.8 billion), including 699.3 billion won (US$635.8 million) in stadium construction and maintenance, 7.7503 trillion won (US$7.0493 billion) in road networks, and 1.4273 trillion won (US$1.4273 billion) in additional facility construction. However, only the design costs are earmarked in the 2015 budget when it comes to some of the facilities. It is also said that some of the stadiums cannot be completed until 2016 without a supplementary budget in the first half of next year. “The central government has been passive in financial resources allocation, and it is impossible for Gangwon Province to bear the additional budgetary burden in view of its low fiscal self-sufficiency,” a provincial official explained.
The Sliding Center, which triggered the multiple host issue, is currently under construction in the Alpensia Resort. The provincial government is planning to invest 122.8 billion won (US$111.7 million) in the facility and complete the construction by October 2016. However, it has been pointed out that the facility will be of no use after the Olympics.
The Gangwon Civic and Social Organization Solidarity Conference, in the meantime, announced on Dec. 10 that it is in favor of the IOC’s decision. “Spending 140 billion won on just six hours of the opening and closing ceremonies is not right,” it added. Still, the public consensus is that the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics should not be co-hosted with Japan. In a recent poll, 50.5 percent of the respondents were opposed to it, while 57.8 percent were for co-hosting with another Korean city or province.