PyeongChang's Olympic Stadium to be used only four times

31 January 2018

Thousands of people from all over the world will pack into PyeongChang, South Korea’s brand new Olympic Stadium next week to help kick off the Opening Ceremonies at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The newly built 35,000-seat stadium boasts a $60 million price tag, and will serve as the centerpiece of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Yet after just four uses — the opening and closing ceremonies for both games — the stadium will disappear.

Rather than simply letting the venue sit empty, South Korea plans to renovate the stadium completely following the conclusion of the Paralympic Games. The stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 5,000-10,000 seats, and an exhibition center and a history museum for the games will be added, according to the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The move will likely head off a situation like the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, or the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The iconic Maracana stadium in Rio, a centerpiece both their World Cup and 2016 summer games, resembled a ghost town just six months after the games.

It wasn’t alone, either. The majority of venues from the Rio Olympics and many World Cup Stadiums in Brazil fell to despair shortly after the conclusion of the games.

South Korea’s move isn’t an unprecedented one, however.

The Olympic Stadium in Albertville, France, was torn down following the 1992 Olympics in France.

Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Stadium, which played host to the 1996 Olympics, has since been transformed into Turner Field, which now hosts the Georgia State football team.

There are 13 different venues in PyeongChang that will hold events throughout the games — including the Gangneung Hockey Centre, which was also built for the games.