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2010 Bid does some number crunching

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The 2010 Olympic Bid Corporation has undertaken its own study to compare various costs outlined in the mini bid books of seven of the eight countries competing for the Games.

Harbin, China has not released its mini bid book.

"It became apparent that there isn’t really a lot of information available from those other bids so we don’t know what you can actually compare," said bid spokesman Sam Corea.

"Are you comparing relevant information from one bid city to another bid city we wondered."

The media has been reporting that the Vancouver bid will cost about $6.5 billion Cdn. if you include Sea to Sky highway upgrades, light rapid transit, Sea Bus upgrades, a new convention centre, and upgrades to the Vancouver International Airport.

All of these projects are paid for by various levels of government or privately funded. None are covered in the operating expenses of the Games.

According to Bern’s mini bid book the cost of hosting the Games is almost $5 billion Cdn. But they do not include any figures for infrastructures other than those needed to host the Games. Nor is there any figure included for security.

Interestingly, Bern plans to spend $579,963,000 more than Vancouver on its transportation upgrades.

Bern projects it will spend $995,128,800 on its operating costs as compared to Vancouver’s $1.2 billion.

None of the other mini bid books contain projections for their operating costs.

Pyeongchang only includes the cost of its sports infrastructure and transportation costs in its mini bid book. Using those figures it projects the Games to cost $4,338,080,000. (All figures have been converted to Canadian dollars.)

"As you can see it is difficult to make comparisons at this point," said Corea.

"The numbers don’t seem to add up because we don’t know what the true costs are.

"However, it is important to get the information out there. We want to see how people are achieving these figures and it is also part of the competitive strategy. You need to see what your competitors are doing."

Within the mini bid books the costs of building the structures needed to host the Games also vary widely from location to location.

For example Pyeongchang estimates it will spend $122,014,200 on a speed skating oval. Vancouver estimates its speed skating oval to cost $56,919,800.

Salzburg plans on spending $31,692,000 on the speed skating facility while Bern says its facility will cost $23,769,000.

Salzburg’s curling rink will cost $34,861,200 while Vancouver’s will cost $23,653,000.

What it comes down to, said Corea, is that it is almost impossible to compare the bids properly at this time.

Until more details are released it is a guessing game.

"We are using Canadian standards and Canadian levels of what we understand here and we continue to work with architectural firms to get as much information as possible," said Corea.

"And a lot of the information isn’t available from the other locations at this point."

It’s likely more complete comparisons will be able to be made when the bid books are made available. These will be submitted to the International Olympic Committee in January.

Corea says it is likely that they will be available after the IOC has finished considering them.

"Direct comparisons will probably be available when the bid books are submitted because at that point guarantees will have to be signed, whether they are here or Pyeongchang, everyone is required to submit the information and then the IOC will evaluate that," said Corea.

"I understand in the last round (for the 2008 Games) they were public.

"After they were submitted there was a period of time where IOC looked at it and then they were available."

When it comes to projected revenues there are a few interesting anomalies.

For example Sarajevo projects it will get $316,920,000 from corporate sponsors but only $25,353,600 in ticket sales.

Vancouver expects to make $182,229,000 in ticket sales. Salt Lake brought in $289,981,800 in ticket sales last February at its Winter Games.

Bern only expects to get $120,429,600 in corporate sponsorship but believes it will get $142,614,000 from "other sources."

Vancouver expects to get $38,030,400 from "other sources."

The IOC will decide July 2, 2003 who will host the 2010 Winter Games.

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