Sports authorities in Vietnam confirmed yesterday that 80 percent facilities needed to host 2019 Asian Games is now available and so the nation can play the host of the multi-sports event with a humble organization cost of US$150 million.
Vuong Bich Thang, head of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, reiterated it at the meeting of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in Hanoi on April 11, amid public outcry to cancel hosting the event for fear that the organization cost to surge up multi times.
Thang added that the sum of US$150 million will be enough to cover the expenses of organization, repairs and purchase of new facilities.
To reduce costs, Vietnam will not build a new athletes’ village but will use hotels, dormitories, and residential quarters to receive participant athletes, officials, and visitors, according to the leader.
“In short, we can assure that the total cost will not exceed $150 million as we estimated,” Thang confirmed at the meeting.
“As for the construction of the expensive items as the cycling velodrome, tennis court complex, and horse race course, we will socialize them,” he said. Socialization is the common term meant to call for investments from the private and foreign sectors, not from the State budget.
Before, many government ministries have argued that $150 million will not be enough for hosting the tournament.
Nguyen The Phuong, deputy minister of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, last week told the law-making National Assembly that the amount will be unable to cover the cost of organizing an Asiad in Vietnam.
He added that no nation in the world has ever held an Asian Games competition at a cost of $150 million. Tuoi Tre has learned that the Republic of Korea spent US$2.9 billion on the 2002 Asiad in Busan. Qatar spent a total of $2.8 billion hosting the Asiad in Doha in 2006. China paid almost $20 billion for the 2010 Asiad, including $2.45 billion for the construction of the athletes’ village. The Republic of Korea is planning a total cost of $1.6 billion for the 2014 Asiad to be held in September in Incheon.