THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Friday, February 25, 2005

The $20 Billion Olympics


make sure to sign the blank check


In Olympic Bid, City Must Be Ready to Cover Overruns, Too
By CHARLES V. BAGLI

Published: February 25, 2005

The uncertain fate of the proposed West Side stadium is not the only hurdle facing the city as it bids for the 2012 Olympics. Experts on the Games say New York has yet to satisfy the International Olympic Committee's firm demand that host cities guarantee to pay for all cost overruns and deficits, no matter how high they go.

When the committee announces the host city on July 6, it will require it to sign a contract that day agreeing to underwrite the entire cost of the Games, cover any differences between revenues and expenditures, and indemnify the committee, sponsors and broadcasters against any financial claims that arise.

It is a sizable issue, given that in Athens last year, the Games cost at least $10 billion, twice the original estimate, and the Sydney Olympics in 2000 also cost double the projection.

The other cities in the competition - London, Paris, Madrid and Moscow - have offered open-ended agreements to cover any cost overruns or deficits, in most cases underwritten by their national governments. "The chancellor of the exchequer has guaranteed that the U.K. Government will act as the ultimate financial guarantor should there be a shortfall between Olympic costs and revenues," reads the London bid, which is typical of the others.

New York's organizing committee, on the other hand, has taken a different route. Lacking such a guarantee from the federal, state or city government, it has offered to cover all excess costs up to $492 million, which organizers say should be sufficient, given that no American host city has had any overruns approaching that amount. It is far from clear, however, that that limit will be sufficient for the international committee.

"Somebody's got to step up," said Richard W. Pound, a Canadian member of the committee's unit that deals with legal issues.

"In the U.S., there's never any doubt it can be done, but they've got to produce a guarantee from someone."

Kevin B. Wamsley, director of the International Center for Olympic Studies at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, said the issue was generally considered nonnegotiable.

"They have to sign off on that issue, or the bid will not be accepted," Mr. Wamsley said.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki went out of their way on Wednesday to reassure the international committee's evaluation commission that there were sufficient contingency funds in the current budget to cover any overruns.

Jay Kriegel, executive director of NYC2012, the local organizing committee, said yesterday that New York has provided "without question the strongest guarantee that's ever been provided for an American bid."

The guarantee, he said, includes $250 million from the state and a $200 million contingency fund in the host committee's $3 billion budget for the Games. The 2001 state legislation authorizing that appropriation specifically states that "in no event" should the combined liability of the city and the state exceed $250 million. In addition, the federal government has agreed to pay for all security costs.

It is for the international committee "to decide whether the guarantee meets their needs," Mr. Kriegel said.

At a news conference yesterday, the chairwoman of the international committee's evaluation commission, Nawal el-Moutawakel, gave a noncommittal answer to the question of whether the city had met the committee's requirements, though she made it clear she appreciated the city's attempts to deal with the issue.

She added that the assurances the city provided would make it easier for the committee to prepare its report.



This was buried in the Times and it shouldn't be. Not a dime should come from government for this, especially city government. It's bad enough to build the damn stadium somewhere, now we have to cover their costs as well? Where is all this extra money supposed to come from? When we face an overrun of billions, you think Washington is going to pick that up in an election year? This should be a major issue instead of all the cheerleading.

posted by Steve @ 2:26:00 AM

2:26:00 AM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans