Modernisation and refurbishment project of the Olympic Stadium



The Audit Committee’s 2020 assessment plan included the Olympic Stadium modernisation and refurbishment project as a matter reported to the committee. This is an exceptional construction project, the initial cost estimate for which has been significantly exceeded. The Audit Committee held a meeting at the Olympic Stadium on 3 November 2020. The observations in the text are mainly based on the information provided to the committee by the Stadium Foundation and the developer, as well as on reports received. In addition to this, the text makes use of the audit report of the National Audit Office of Finland, as well as the City’s documents regarding the project.


The costs of the Olympic Stadium modernisation and refurbishment project were approximately EUR 127 million higher than estimated in the project plan. Additional and alteration work increased the costs the most. The fact that the costs of the project plan were not tied to the tender price index also had a major impact. The increase in the cost level of construction accounted for approximately EUR 50 million of the cost overrun. It was in principle unrealistic to assume that the project would be realised at the cost level of the project plan when the site was unique, the project long-term and the costs not tied to the index. However, the City Council deciding on the funding was not informed of any uncertainty in the cost estimate in the decision documents. The project had a steering group, one of whose tasks was to ensure cost control. However, it did non have the decision-making power needed to perform cost monitoring. Furthermore, cutting costs would have required compromising on the original goals of the project.

The Audit Committee concludes that

the City Board must
◼ ensure that, in co-funded projects, the steering and supervision of the project and the authority related to their implementation, as well as preparation for changes in
the cost level, are agreed on in detail before the maximum project price is decided on. 

the Urban Environment Division must
◼ ensure that the implementation plans for projects submitted to the City Council for decision are sufficiently advanced and of high enough quality, and that the cost estimate prepared is as reliable as possible. Furthermore, the contractor’s commitment to the cost-effective implementation of the project must be ensured.

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