VANOC says budget on target 

Long awaited business plan finally released

By Clare Ogilvie

Olympic organizers released their long awaited business plan this morning, announcing that they will put on the 2010 Games for $1.63 billion.

That’s about $100 million less than the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games was projecting just a few months ago. The operating budget also includes a $100 million contingency.

VANOC has already collected or received commitments for $1.1 billion, or 69 per cent, of its operating budget.

The capital cost of the Games venues, paid for by the provincial and federal governments, remains at $580 million.

“Our objective has been to produce a balanced budget with a healthy contingency and we have delivered that plan today,” said John Furlong, VANOC’s chief executive officer.

Details of the deal with Orca Bay for GM Place were also revealed. VANOC will pay $110,000 a day plus inflation for the daily rental of the facility and a lump sum of $18.5 million.

VANOC expects to make $70 million though activities associated with GM Place.

“It’s a great deal,” said Furlong adding that no taxpayer money will be used to fund the deal.

Olympics organizers hope that tickets will be available to the public just before the 2008 Beijing Summer Games in China.

And, said Dave Cobb, executive vice president of marketing revenue and communications for VANOC, while some tickets will be priced at the high end Games organizers are committed to offering affordable ticket prices.

“There will be a range,” he said, adding that on average 70 per cent of the tickets at a venue will be available for the public.

Said B.C.’s minister of economic development Colin Hansen, “In reading the plan it is clear the entire team at VANOC has dedicated significant time and resources to its development and are completely focused on ensuring the Games will be a huge success for all British Columbians.”

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