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What’s the boost to Utah’s economy from a 2034 Winter Games?

Jul 10, 2024, 10:58 AM | Updated: 7:24 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A 2034 Winter Games in Utah would have a $6.6 billion economic impact on the state over the coming decade.

That’s according to a new, eight-page report by the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute released Wednesday, ahead of the International Olympic Committee’s final decision on whether Salt Lake City will host another Olympics, a vote scheduled to be held in Paris on July 24, Utah’s Pioneer Day.

“Hosting the 2034 Winter Games will have significant positive economic and fiscal impacts for the state,” the report concludes.

The economic impact would be driven by what the report labeled “significant” new spending, estimated to add up to $4.1 billion. That number drops to $2.6 billion when adjusted for purchases made from companies located out of state and the regular skier visits that would be displaced by hosting the Olympics and Paralympics.

Salt Lake City gears up for 2034 Olympics announcement

Another Games would bring more than 42,000 job years of employment to the state, with a job year defined as one job for one year, along with $2.5 billion in personal income and almost $3.9 billion in state GDP, according to the report.

Both local and state governments would end up collecting more than they spend, the report concluded. Local entities could expect $138.1 million in new revenues and $108.8 million in expenditures, netting $29.3 million. At the state level, revenues would be $167.2 million and expenditures, $146.2 million, for a net of $21 million.

The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games recently released a $2.83 billion budget for a 2034 Winter Games, which rises to almost $4 billion when money for a post-Games legacy and revenues shared with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee are included. All of the funds would be privately raised, largely from the sale of sponsorships, broadcast rights and tickets.

The capital investment in staging another Olympics would be “modest” since the facilities from the 2002 Winter Games have continued to be used and maintained, the report stated, crediting the “stewardship” of the Utah Legislature, which has appropriated $94.6 million toward keeping them up and running.

RELATED: Here’s how much money Utah taxpayers are spending on the state’s Olympic venues

Olympic organizers would spend just over $31 million on permanent capital investments this time around, compared to almost $287 million (in 2023 dollars) for the 2002 Games. There is just over $206 million in the proposed budget for temporary infrastructure and signage at both competition and noncompetition venues that would be spent starting in 2032.

The report noted the economic impact of the 2002 Games was higher, with approximately $7.5 billion in economic output, 45,700 job years of employment and $3.7 billion in personal income. A previous analysis by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute had estimated the economic impact of hosting another Olympics in 2030 at $3.9 billion.

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What’s the boost to Utah’s economy from a 2034 Winter Games?