Shanghai’s Expo 2010 is the most expensive party ever.
It was supposed to signal China’s emergence on the world stage — like the 1905 St. Louis World’s Fair. But after six days of embarrassing ticket sales, it’s beginning to look like a huge black eye.
Conservative estimates put the cost around $55 billion. Including land acquisition and other indirect expenses, the total could be closer to $85 billion — more than twice the cost of the Beijing Summer Olympics, according to Caixin.
Unfortunately, the people aren’t coming. An average of 150,000 showed up each of the first five days, according to China Economic Review. Shanghai was counting on more than twice that number to meet its six-month target of 70 million visitors. If ticket sales remain this low, China will face a $560-million shortfall in operating revenue.
But nevermind, it looks like an awesome party!