Monday, March 15, 2010

Govt declines to back Auckland's Games bid

Prime Minister John Key has confirmed the government will not be backing Auckland's bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.Key says the issue is not the cost of the bid but how much it would cost to run the event. He says New Zealand faces a $600 million loss, even taking account of benefits such as increased tourism, if it was to go ahead.

"It's very, very expensive and we can't see the economic pay back... The economic loss was so great that we couldn't justify it."

He accepts events often run at a loss but the money in this case is largely operating costs without investing in new stadia or other long-lasting benefits.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully declined to comment until he met officials.

NZPA sought an estimate of the cost from the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) of making the bid and of actually hosting the games but it has not yet been provided figures.

The Queensland bid for the 2018 games is expected to cost $14m. This year's Commonwealth Games in India will cost $2 billion.

The Government last year provided money to assess Auckland's ability to host the Commonwealth Games.

The $325,000 feasibility assessment was commissioned by the NZOC and was funded by New Zealand Major Events, a unit of the Ministry of Economic Development, along with government sport funding agency Sparc and Auckland councils.

What do you think about the government not backing Auckland's bid? Have your say on the messageboard below.

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CWG said...
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