The Olympics are a game of billions. And whether or not the people of Berlin back an official bid for the 2024 Games will depend greatly on the cost to their impoverished city.
Enormous sums like €34 billion ($44 billion) in Beijing and €39 billion ($50 billion) in Sochi act as a serious deterrent. In contrast, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit this month offered to propose just €2.4 billion ($3.1 billion) to hold the Olympics a decade from now.
That wouldn’t include the price tag for infrastructure and security, but it’s still a tiny figure.
The city’s sport officials seem to be equally ambitious in going cheap. “Our requirement is to carry out the most affordable Games in the last 20 to 30 years,” said Andreas Statzkowski, Berlin’s deputy sport minister. “We will be especially inexpensive because we can use what we already have. We can in all seriousness utter the word modest.”
The Berlin government has won the support of some experts.
“Berlin could hold the cheapest Olympic Games in a long time,” said Holger Preuss, professor of sport economics at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz.
Mr. Preuss examined the host cities of the past decades and considers the conditions in Berlin to be especially good.