US plan to spend $1.4 billion on Salt Lake City Olympics

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The Independent Online

The United States government plans to spend $1.4 billion related to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, congressional investigators reported today.

The United States government plans to spend $1.4 billion related to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, congressional investigators reported today.

About $1.1 billion of that will be for transportation projects such as highways and a commuter railway that probably would have been built anyway, the General Accounting Office report said. The figures are preliminary because the games have not been held and federal agencies often do not specifically track Olympics-related spending, the report said.

The report cited $272 million of scheduled spending solely for the planning or operation of the Utah Olympics, including about $200 million by the FBI and other agencies for safety and security.

In contrast, federal spending on the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta totaled about $605 million, including safety and security expenditures of about $92 million, the GAO report said.

Congressional critics of the Salt Lake City games said winter games should be smaller and less expensive than summer Olympics, and the $1.4 billion estimate was far higher than any previous figure.

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