The 5 Most Expensive Winter Olympic Games

 Casey Leins

The 2018 Winter Games, set to begin on Feb. 9, are projected to cost host Pyeongchang, South Korea, around $13 billion, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Though the number comes nowhere close to Sochi, Russia's nearly $22 billion payout in 2014, it far surpasses the costs paid out by other Winter Olympics hosts, such as Salt Lake City's $2.5 billion in 2002 and Torino's $4.4 billion in 2006.

Host cities and their countries not only bear operating costs such as technology, transportation and labor to "stage" the games, but they also pay a hefty price to build competition venues, the Olympic village and other sports infrastructure.

Still, Winter Games are typically less expensive than Summer Games. The winter competitions have averaged about $3.1 billion to stage from 1960 to 2016, compared to $5.2 billion for each of the summer counterparts during that same time period, according to an Oxford University Study.

The Oxford study, conducted in 2016, investigated how much host cities – and their countries, which often carry a good chunk of the burden – have invested in the Games. The research did not factor in costs that were not directly related to staging the Games, such as money used to build roads and airport infrastructure.

These indirect costs have proven to be the most expensive part of hosting the Olympics, but the Oxford researchers say it's difficult to locate this data and, even if it is available, it often doesn't meet validity and reliability standards.

According to the study, these are the most expensive Winter Olympics since 1960:

The least expensive Winter Games cost Innsbruck, Austria, $22 million in 1964.

In many cases, the cost of the Games has far exceeded the expenses cities have projected in their "bid books," when competing to host the world's biggest sporting event.

Here's a look at the cost of the Winter Olympic Games since 1994, adjusted to 2015 dollars, and how far host cities and their countries have overrun their expected costs:

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