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Cost to Attend the 2014 Winter Olympics?

Updated on March 25, 2013

2014 Winter Olympics

Figure skating promises to be one of the most popular sports at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Figure skating promises to be one of the most popular sports at the 2014 Winter Olympics. | Source

2014 Winter Olympics

The 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in the beautiful resort town of Sochi, Russia between February 7th and 23rd. Attending the Games will require advance planning--and lots of money.

What would be the minimum price for you and your significant other to attend the Games? Assume you're dreaming of seeing the pageantry of the Opening Ceremonies and daily athletic events during a one-week stay.

As described below, the rock-bottom price for your dream trip is about $7000, although it would be easy to increase that into the five-digit range.

Sochi, Russia Will Host the 2014 Winter Olympics

Sochi, Russia:
Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia

get directions

The resort town of Sochi, Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Sochi is on the coast of the Black Sea, and boasts mild temperatures.

Travel to Sochi, Russia

Airfare: The cheapest round-trip airfare from Chicago to Sochi arriving in time for the Opening Ceremonies is $1580 each, or $3160 for two people. But you'd better act fast, because the next cheapest airfare is $3207 each! Expect to pay more if you don't live near a major international airport.

Running Tab: $3160.

Hotel: A great hotel deal for the Sochi Olympics is offered by Uyutnaya Laguna Guest House in Loo Village. This hotel is an eight-minute walk to a train station offering service to Sochi, and it offers shuttle service from Sochi Airport (50 km away). The cost for seven nights from February 5 - 12, 2014 is $1044 (including 18% VAT) or a reasonable $150 per night.

Running Tab: $4204.

Passport/Visa: You'll need passports to visit Russia. If you don't already have them, the cost of a U.S. passport is $135 ($110 application fee + $25 execution fee). You'll also need tourist visas, valid for stays of up to 30 days. VisitRussia lists visa fees (including an official invitation) of $220 each, with a processing time of three weeks. Thus, if you don't already have passports, expect to spend about $710 for passports and visas for your party of two.

Running Tab: $4914.

Payments: The only credit card which will be officially accepted at the 2014 Winter Olympics is VISA. While you can use other credit cards to make non-official purchases like airfare or hotel costs, you'll want to have a VISA card to pay for event tickets and other costs at official venues.

Food/Local Transportation/Incidentals:You'll also have food, local transportation and incidental expenses. Such costs are difficult to estimate, but assume a minimum of $75 per person per day. That's $1050 for the two of you for the week.

Running Tab: $5964.

Sub-Total:Thus, expect to pay a minimum of $6000 for airfare, hotel, travel documents, food, local transportation and incidentals for you and your significant other. This price will escalate if you are unable to buy cheap airplane tickets, stay in a fancier hotel or a hotel closer to Olympic Park, or dine in expensive restaurants.

And the $6000 doesn't yet include tickets to any Olympic events!

Authorized Ticket Resellers for Olympic Tickets

An important issue for many people wishing to purchase Olympic tickets is that only residents of the Russian Federation can purchase tickets from the official Sochi ticketing website. If you do not reside in the territory of the Russian Federation, you may order your tickets through the National Olympic Committee in your country and their Authorized Ticket Resellers (ATRs).

The Authorized Ticket Reseller for the United States is CoSport. However, as of today (February 28th), CoSport's website says it has temporarily suspended individual ticket sales to allow inventory reconciliation following its February 11th individual ticket live sales. The website provides no indication when individual ticket sales will resume. The website also does not indicate the prices for individual tickets, and thus its unclear if (and how much) the tickets are marked up.

Olympic Event Tickets

Spectator Pass: Anyone wishing to attend an Olympic event or enter Olympic Park will need a Spectator Pass (except for children younger than four). The Spectator Pass is a registration card for spectators that's part of the Olympic's security plan. Applications can be submitted online, and successful applicants can pick up their Pass at a spectator registration center. There is no charge.

Individual Tickets: Ticket prices for the Games range from $16 to over $1600. The most expensive tickets are for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, ice hockey and figure skating.

Per the official Sochi ticketing website, tickets for the Opening Ceremony are in four price levels: $1638 (Level A); $984 (Level B); $656 (Level C); and $197 (Level D). These U.S. dollar amounts are converted from Russian Rubles using a 1 USD = 30.5 Ruble exchange rate.

Closing Ceremony tickets are less expensive: $1213 (A); $656 (B); $393 (C); and $148 (D).

Ice hockey tickets vary widely depending on the countries playing and the tournament round. The least expensive preliminary games have three levels of tickets: $66 (A); $33 (B); and $16 (C). The gold medal game tickets has four levels of tickets: $1115 (A); $787 (B); $590 (C); and $230 (D).

The lowest-priced figure skating events are mens team short program and ladies team ice dance short program, with four levels of tickets: $492 (A); $262 (B); $131 (C); and $49 (D). The highest-priced is the gala exhibition, with four ticket levels: $754 (A); $459 (B); $262 (C); and $148 (D).

Let's assume you and your significant other wish to attend the Opening Ceremony on February 7th, the 5000 meter speed skating on February 8th, the snowboard competition on February 9th, the curling on February 10th, and the freestyle skiing on February 11th. Let's also assume you're happy to buy the least expensive tickets for each event. You'd spend $426 each, or $852 for two.

Running total: $6816.

Thus, the rock-bottom price for you and your significant other to attend the 2014 Winter Olympics for a one-week trip during which you'll see the Opening Ceremony and daily athletic events is about $7000. Of course, it would be easy to increase your spending into the five digit range by making more expensive travel arrangements and/or buying tickets closer to the action.


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