To commemorate the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics, we’re looking a little closer to home to see how much a backyard Olympic Games would cost.


It goes without saying that there’s an epidemic of Olympics fever going around this week. Across the UK people are getting the Union Jack bunting out of the cupboard and Googling the scoring system for gymnastics.

Unlike London 2012, a lot of Brits won’t be able to attend any of their favourite events this year. In fact, with the cost of flying to Brazil, it would almost be cheaper to build your own Olympic Stadium at home. That got us thinking: our tradespeople are a resourceful lot that love being out in the open air, so why not give you an itinerary of everything you’d need to finance your own Olympic Games in the back garden?

Now we’re guessing your garden isn’t quite as large as the 560 acre Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, so we’re going to base the cost of your Olympics on the average UK garden size (2013) of 163.2 metres squared.

Backyard Olympic Games cost

Prepping the garden

First you need to get your garden ready for building the stadium, the village and a few million people’s worth of foot traffic. It’s going to cost a little over £126,000 to get the area set up. This includes £35,000 for power lines and utilities, £50,000 for landscaping and £39,200 for other structures you might need to get people into your garden.



Odds are you won’t need to spend much more than £70,000 to get your venues set up. The stadium itself will be half of that. Be warned, it won’t be as big as most Olympic stadiums: your marathon runners will have to circle your garden around 825 times! The other half will go to Basketball, Aquatic facilities and other Olympics and non-Olympics venues, all scaled down to fit your garden. This may result in facilities being stacked on top of each other, so be sure to have some ladders handy. If you’re looking to save a few quid here and there, you can always leave out the Handball venue. That should save you around £2,800! Please note that these venues are scaled down, so most of your participants will have to crouch or only enter the facilities one at a time.



If you build it, they will come. But not if you can’t ferry them there! London 2012 spent nearly £900m on trains, tubes and all sorts of transport facilities. You don’t have to worry about that. Odds are you can get your transport set up for £7,000 with £32,900 thrown in for expenses like drivers and petrol to get punters, pundits and athletes to, from and around your stately grounds. Expect crowding.


The Nitty Gritty

Construction, security, insurance. You’re going to need them all to get your Olympics off the ground. You can expect to spend a little under £63,000 all in. However, if take on the construction work yourself and get some of your tradespeople mates involved you can save £16,800 on construction costs. If you do decide to take the work on yourself, be sure to check out our Public Liability insurance. Be warned that depending on your circumstances we may not cover all aspects of your fictional Olympic park.


Olympic Village & Media Centre

Now you’re going to need somewhere for your Olympians to live. If you’ve got enough spare bedrooms/sleeping bags to go around, that can be a real money saver. Otherwise you’re looking at a £49,000 bill for your Olympic “Village”. It won’t be as glamorous or spacious as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, but it’ll do. Also, you want your Games televised right? No problem, just stack on another £300m to get your media network up and running. Alternatively, if you want to buy a camera and stream the events online yourself, you’re looking at £5,500 for a decent quality handheld. Or just record it all on your phone for free!


The Games

The time has come – let the games begin! Now that you’ve got all your big costs out of the way, it’s just going to be another £49,000 to get the program going and keeping the games organised. Otherwise you’re going to end up with relay teams running along the backs of the freestyle swimmers. It’s a small price to pay for Olympic harmony. Actually it’s a huge price to pay, but you know what I mean.


Final Bill

Come September you’re going to have a few more bills on your doorstep than normal. Overall you’ll be paying £438,400. Sure it’s a lot of money, but you had a productive summer, shared some laughs, and now you’ve got a mini-Olympic swimming pool in your garden…and a running track.

WARNING: Please don’t genuinely try and host the Olympic games in your back garden. Nothing will fit and you’ll have javelin holes in your fence.

These costs are based on the cost breakdown for the London 2012 Olympic Games, excluding exclusive London costs and scaled down for an average sized garden.

Find out more about Trade Direct and beat your renewal with our Public Liability Insurance.

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