Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities
A successful engineering project must include its timely and economic completion. A project management failure can lead to delays and cost overruns. One example of a project that greatly exceeded its projected budget is the construction of the multiple facilities for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. These included the Olympic Stadium, a velodrome for bicycle events, and the Olympic Village to house the athletes. This case study reviews the circumstances of the cost increases and the design decisions and other circumstances that led to them. The difficulties were brought on by an unrealistic schedule to complete the facilities before the fixed start date of the Games, combined with an unusually cavalier attitude toward project costs, exacerbated by political tensions. Although the original cost estimate for the facilities was $120 million, the final cost was $1.5 billion, with $830 million for the main stadium alone. Part of the justification for the expense of the facilities was the hope that the facilities would be useful for future athletic events—the record on this is mixed at best. The lessons learned can be applied to other projects to better control costs.
Patel, A., Bosela, P., and Delatte, N. (2013). "1976 Montreal Olympics: Case Study of Project Management Failure." J.Perform.Constr.Facil., 27(3), 362-369.