South Korea's new, $109 million stadium, which sits in Pyeongchang, will play host to a total of four ceremonies for both the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games—and then it will be destroyed.
The thought is that tearing the soon-to-be iconic arena will prevent it from becoming both a white elephant and a standing reminder of the over-the-top nature of the events, Huffpost reported.
South Korea strived for a type of restraint that has rarely been seen in recent Games—the estimated $13 billion spent to ready Pyeongchang to host the event falls well under the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, which cost a record-breaking $50 billion. But even so, this stadium, which was built solely for just four ceremonies (no actual sporting events) embodies the lavishness that goes hand-in-hand with Olympics of the modern day, Huffpost reported.
Too Much Money
According to researchers, the cost of the Olympics rise to 109 percent over projected costs—just about where Pyeongchang sits with these Games. Typically the excess can be found in unnecessary construction projects, Huffpost reported. For example, Pyeongchang officials built a new ski resort, knocking down part of an indigenous forest, although there were other ski areas readily available. As of now, the site will likely go unused after the Games are over.
What's more, there are no projected plans for three more facilities that were built just for these Games.
One major positive this time around is that Pyeongchang seems well-prepared for the Olympics, with the necessary facilities all complete and ready for athletes, judges and spectators alike. This is a far cry from Sochi, where the construction projects that made life miserable for local residents weren't even complete in time for the Games themselves.
Hope for the Future
However, despite the cost and the temporary nature of these structures, there is a lot riding on the 2018 Winter Olympic Games for South Korea. The hope is twofold: First, that these Games provide an opportunity to bolster much-needed improved relations between North and South Korea, and second, that they help make the Korean Peninsula into an “Asian winter sports hub,” Huffpost reported.