Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — The Brazilian government is counting on the Olympics to generate millions of dollars in tourism and economic activity.
But with the city’s population expected to swell to more than 2 million people by 2024, that would require a massive construction boom.
The city is currently seeking federal funding to build more than 6 million square feet of new housing, but many of those are slated for the downtown area.
Brazil’s top political official, Paulo Bausa, told the AP he has proposed a budget of $15 billion to cover infrastructure and social programs, but only if the government can convince Congress to allocate $3 billion for the Olympics.
“It’s the only way we can afford to invest,” he said.
He added that Rio de Campeche’s Olympics would bring in about $300 million per year, but the budget has not yet been approved.
“The budget has been drafted, but it’s not final,” Bausas spokesman, Sergio Martins, told Reuters.
“But I can confirm that we are in discussions with Congress and that the final budget will be approved in coming days.”
The plan is similar to one approved by the World Bank, which said last year that Brazil could generate an estimated $9 billion in tourist revenue, with the bulk coming from Brazil’s vast South American coastline.
The WBS estimate includes the costs of public transit, hotels, restaurants, bars, and sports facilities.
The U.S. government has also been lobbying for an Olympic project in Brazil.
President Donald Trump has said he wants to see the United States host the 2024 Summer Games, and he has threatened to cancel the games if they are not built.
But the U.N. Olympic Committee and several other sports federations have said that a decision on hosting the Games would have to be made by the IOC, which is expected to make a decision in December.
Rio de Campos, the state of Rio de Septimio, is home to some of the Olympic venues.