3 Most Expensive Olympic Stadiums Ever Built

Is there any event out there as thrilling as the Olympics? Although the games date back thousands of years, the modern Olympics as we know them were first held in 1896. And since then, its host countries have been embroiled in a veritable arms race for who can build the biggest and most amazing stadium in which to compete. It’s a matter of pride, sure, but it’s also a matter of cash. Wherever the Olympics go, huge crowds follow — generating countless tourism dollars along the way.

With that in mind, it’s clear why host cities are so interested in creating monumental facilities that capture the world’s imagination. Among these monolithic monsters, these three stadiums stand out as the most expensive ever built.

Beijing National Stadium

Beijing National Stadium

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Courtesy of the People’s Republic of China, we have the Beijing National Stadium.

This impressive facility was built for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, and purportedly holds over 91,000 people. Of course, its grandeur came at a cost — 2.3 billion Yuan, to be exact (nearly $327 million in U.S. dollars).

And somehow, that staggering price tag puts Beijing National Stadium only in third place, as far as expensive Olympic venues go. But unlike the other venues listed, this stadium is still active in the Olympic world. Beijing is slated to host the 2020 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, so unlike most Olympic hosts who build huge stadiums for one-off events, China is getting more bang for its buck. In fact, this will make the Beijing National Stadium the only Olympic venue to ever hold opening ceremonies for both the Summer and Winter Games.

Stadium Australia

Stadium Australia

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For the 2000 Olympic Games, the Australian government spent $690 million AUD to bring its stadium to life. This comes out to nearly $467 million in American dollars. Of course, they got a pretty impressive stadium for their trouble. Stadium Australia in Sydney is even bigger than China’s Beijing National Stadium, with some impressive features to note:

  • Seating capacity of over 110,000
  • Its highest point is nearly 14 stories up
  • The site area encompasses 16 hectares
  • The roof alone weighs over 4,000 tons

Today, Stadium Australia is mostly used as a venue for Australia’s other top sports, including rugby, association football, cricket, American football, and more. It’s also a popular hub for concerts and big-name celebrities because, well, how else are you going to fill those seats?

London Stadium

London Stadium

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Featured in the 2012 Olympic Games held in London, England, there’s no Olympic venue on earth that can rival London Stadium (at least in terms of cost). According to estimates, the stadium cost over £486 million, or about $587 million USD, to build.

Interestingly, despite its exorbitant price tag, London Stadium doesn’t have near the seating capacity of Stadium Australia: London’s stadium seats only 66,000 people at once. And while the stadium is impressive, it’s hard to see exactly what part of the construction justified its world-record price tag. In fact, the stadium was called “tragically underwhelming” by those unimpressed with its design.

But regardless of how it was perceived, there’s no question it was the most expensive Olympic venue ever built — at least as of 2019. The 2020 Games are coming, and Japan has big plans for its Tokyo stadium that may set a new standard.

Due to the prestige of the Olympics, host countries often try to outdo one another with bigger and better venues, but this showmanship comes with a cost that extends beyond the capital outlay. For more information on the drawbacks of hosting the Olympics (and why so many countries avoid it like the plague), check out this primer on the economics of hosting the Olympic Games.

3 Presidents with the Most Places Named After Them

Presidents are called by their title long after they’ve left office as a sign of respect, but many who left a lasting legacy also have namesakes dedicated in their honor. Presidents have monuments, landmarks, buildings, streets, schools, and more named after them all around the country, but a few former presidents top the list.

According to CBS News, these are the top three presidents with places named after them.

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

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As one of the four presidents with his likeness etched into Mount Rushmore, self-proclaimed cowboy and 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt got around. That’s to say, the man made his mark across the country.

Today, visitors can explore and enjoy a number of destinations donning his name. The Theodore Roosevelt Dam is located on the Salt River in Arizona. Once the largest masonry dam in the world, stretching to a height of over 350 feet, the Theodore Roosevelt Dam is a destination for outdoor and water sports as well as architectural enthusiasts. Visitors can fish and boat on the reservoir created by the dam (Theodore Roosevelt Lake) or begin/end hiking excursions at the dam from the nearby Apache Trail.

Visitors to Colorado can take in the vastness of Roosevelt National Forest. The nearly 814,000-acre forest was renamed in Roosevelt’s honor in 1932 and continues to serve as a popular outdoor destination for campers, hikers, cyclists, anglers, and snowshoers.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

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Abraham Lincoln’s name is attached to countless landmarks, memorials, and historical monuments all over the United States. Listing them all could fuel a traveler’s wanderlust for decades. Here are a couple worth visiting:

Bearing his likeness and named in his honor, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., is probably the most recognizable namesake to the 16th president in the world. As a result, approximately 7.8 million people visited the Lincoln Memorial in 2018, and the memorial continues to be one of the most popular destinations at the National Mall.

President Lincoln’s final resting place (alongside his wife Mary and three sons) is the Lincoln Tomb inside the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. The tomb’s 117-foot obelisk is supported by four stone staircases and is the backdrop for a large bronze bust sculpture of the president. Visitors to the tomb can enter through a rotunda and proceed down hallways to the burial chamber and gravesite.

George Washington

George Washington

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In addition to the 31 counties named after George Washington, an entire state with his namesake, and numerous monuments spread across more than half of the states in the country, President Washington has the following must-visit places and points of interest named after him:

Washington Place in Honolulu was first built in 1841 and later famously served as the home of the Kingdom of Hawaii’s Queen Lili’uokalani for more than half a century. Today, Washington Place is the official residence of the governor of Hawaii, but visitors can join weekly guided tours to explore the building’s Greek-Revival architecture.

Washington Square Park is arguably the most famous of the more than 1,900 public parks scattered throughout New York City. The park covers nearly 10 acres of land in Lower Manhattan and is home to the Washington Park Arch, which was erected to celebrate the centennial of Washington’s presidential inauguration.

The Washington Monument is an iconic obelisk rising skyward in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It’s the world’s tallest stone structure, stretching approximately 555 feet from base to tip. Renovated and slated to reopen in September 2019, the monument gives thousands of daily visitors an opportunity to ascend via elevator to take in the sites from the observation deck.

Presidents both new and old continue to have places and things named after them, and there’s a good chance presidential namesakes will always be part of the country’s history. These oft-visited memorials continue to be popular travel destinations as long as travelers feel the call of the wild (Roosevelt), a sense of remembrance (Lincoln), or a wanderlust for national firsts (Washington). Did you favorite presidential destination make the list?



Living Your Theology

Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you…  John 12:35

Beware of not acting upon what you see in your moments on the mountaintop with God. If you do not obey the light, it will turn into darkness. “If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23). The moment you forsake the matter of sanctification or neglect anything else on which God has given you His light, your spiritual life begins to disintegrate within you. Continually bring the truth out into your real life, working it out into every area, or else even the light that you possess will itself prove to be a curse.

The most difficult person to deal with is the one who has the prideful self-satisfaction of a past experience, but is not working that experience out in his everyday life. If you say you are sanctified, show it. The experience must be so genuine that it shows in your life. Beware of any belief that makes you self-indulgent or self-gratifying; that belief came from the pit of hell itself, regardless of how beautiful it may sound.

Your theology must work itself out, exhibiting itself in your most common everyday relationships. Our Lord said, “…unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). In other words, you must be more moral than the most moral person you know. You may know all about the doctrine of sanctification, but are you working it out in the everyday issues of your life? Every detail of your life, whether physical, moral, or spiritual, is to be judged and measured by the standard of the atonement by the Cross of Christ. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Psalms 120-122; 1 Corinthians 9