Olympic organizers say they are in good shape despite a global downturn in the economy.
But that has not stopped them from keeping a close eye on spending.
According to the latest quarterly financial report released this week the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games (VANOC) asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for an advance payment of (US) $71.6 million rather than rack up interest charges it would accrue if it borrowed the money to cover expenses.
“As we were going forward we looked at our own cash flow and thought we are borrowing some money here and incurring interest cost,” said John McLaughlin, CFO for VANOC.
“(But) we’ve got a really strong relationship with the IOC so we simply asked them if it would be possible for them to advance the money early… and they said yes they would.”
The report, which covers the quarter ending Oct. 31, 2008, showed expenditures exceeded income by $65.2 million.
Much of the spending has been on technology and sport as VANOC continues to work in the organizational and planning phase of hosting the Games.
Revenues for the quarter were $33.9 million with operating expenses at $99.1 million.
Project revenues to date were $370.6 million, about 23 per cent of the total budget, with operating expenses at $463 million, about 28 per cent of the project budget.
Venue construction expenses rose $21 million to $515.5 million, representing 88 per cent of that part of the budget.
The fact that most of the venues are completed and that 98 per cent of sponsorships are committed will help VANOC weather this financial crisis, said McLaughlin.
“In light of the world’s current turbulent economic outlook we are fortunate to remain in a sound financial position as 2008 comes to an end,” he said.
“We have secured the majority of the funding commitment we require and our venues construction is largely finished…
“Although it has been only two months since our last reported results the world’s economy has experienced some extraordinary events. We have seen things change more profoundly and quickly than many of us have seen in our lifetimes.
“Neither VANOC nor its partners are immune to the impact of the economic changes.”
McLaughlin reiterated that the organization’s fiscal responsibility will be supported when its revised budget, which was adopted in principle this month, is made public in January.
He also commented on a letter written this week by B.C. Auditor General John Doyle to the Speaker of the B.C Legislative Assembly, Bill Barisoff, outlining concerns about the cost of the Games.