China spends billions on Olympics with longer-term goal | National sports

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GENEVA (AP) — The Winter Olympics funding model calls for the host nation to spend billions of dollars, the IOC to earn a few billion, and sporting bodies to share hundreds of millions.

Luckily for China, cashing in on the Beijing 2022 Games was not a priority even before the coronavirus pandemic wiped out some expected revenue streams.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has set a goal in 2015 to create a new tourism industry in the country.

“It will inspire more than 300 million Chinese people to participate in winter sports if we win, which will greatly contribute to the development of the international Olympic cause,” Xi said at the time, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency. .

Preparations for the Olympics, which open Feb. 4 and end 16 days later, have brought high-speed train lines that will transport athletes to new ski resorts outside Beijing. For decades to come, these same train lines will carry Chinese tourists to the mountains.

EXPENSES IN CHINA

Russia reportedly spent $51 billion on the Sochi Games in 2014, a price that is expected to set an Olympic record for many years to come. The huge amount made European voters nervous about hosting in the future and led the IOC to review how the Games are awarded and organized.

But China’s motivation, like Russia in 2014, is a state-backed plan to create national leisure and tourism sectors, with the costliest element again being a city-to-city transport system. Mountain.

China has allocated more than $9 billion for a high-speed train linking Beijing with nearby ski resorts of Zhangjiakou and Yangqing, where ski runs have been carved into mountains that receive little natural snow.

The Olympics-specific operations budget to host the Games is expected to be approximately $4 billion. Venues built in Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics have been redeveloped. The Water Cube for swimming is now the Ice Cube for curling.

Still, overall investment in winter sports has been significant since Beijing won its Olympic bid seven years ago.

China now has more than 650 ice rinks and 800 ski resorts, China Daily reported this month, citing the National Administrative Center for Winter Sports. These figures mark increases of 317% and 41%, respectively, since 2015.

INCOME IN CHINA

China would have expected modest earnings from relatively few international visitors for the Winter Games even before the pandemic made their trips impossible.

Tickets are also not sold to residents of China, which takes another source of income from the host. The IOC’s own figures show the highest Winter Games ticket revenue was $250 million at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, which sold 1.5 million tickets.

The Host City Organizing Committees retain the revenue from the National Sponsorship Agreements they negotiate. Sochi set the Winter Games record with nearly $1.2 billion from 46 sponsors.

The website of the Beijing Organizing Committee currently lists 44 business partners, almost all Chinese, divided into four tiers comprising suppliers of goods and services. The 11 prominent “partners” include Air China and Bank of China.

Sales of merchandise such as gloves and mascots, worth $79 million in Pyeongchang in 2018, also supplement income for local organizers.

However, the largest number has at least officially already been reached. The National Bureau of Statistics said this month that the target of engaging 300 million people in winter sports had been met.

IOC REVENUES

The IOC receives billions of dollars from broadcasters around the world and sponsors who obtain exclusive worldwide rights.

Beijing is the first of US broadcaster NBC’s $7.75 billion deal for six Olympics until 2032. When signed eight years ago, he would be worth a combined $2.5 billion for the 2022 Beijing Games and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The Summer Olympics bring about twice as much as the Winter Games.

The IOC now has 13 top sponsors, including Chinese companies Alibaba and Mengniu, which falls into the soft drinks category along with Coca-Cola. It was 11 for Sochi and Rio de Janeiro when their combined value was $1 billion in cash and services in 2014 and 2016.

The so-called TOP program is expected to be worth around $3 billion for 2021-24, IOC President Thomas Bach told members last March. It was unclear if this reflected Tokyo being pushed back as a 2021 host.

IOC EXPENSES

The IOC grants 880 million dollars at the expense of the Beijing organizers. That’s only a few million less than Pyeongchang organizers had four years ago.

The IOC also shared $215 million of its 2018 Olympic revenue among the seven sports governing bodies of the Winter Games – skiing, skating, hockey, biathlon, bobsleigh, curling and luge.

In their 2020 accounts, the International Ski Federation listed $13 million as Olympic payout and the International Skating Union noted over $11 million.

An additional $215 million was distributed among National Olympic Committees. Of the 206 NOCs, 92 competed in Pyeongchang.

SHARE OF ATHLETES

The 2,900 athletes at the Beijing Olympics do not receive IOC cash prizes for competing or winning medals. However, some of what the IOC pays to sports bodies may trickle down to athletes.

The IOC will invest $590 million in the Olympic Solidarity Fund for the period 2021-24. This will provide grants to train athletes, coaches and administrators. The less wealthy countries have priority.

The IOC said 420 athletes from 78 teams have received scholarships to help them qualify and prepare for this year’s Olympics. The program had a budget of $10 million for the 2018 edition.

In some countries, Olympic medalists receive money or gifts from sports organizations and governments.

The US Olympic Team “Operation Gold” program paid $37,500 for a gold medal, $22,500 for silver, and $15,000 for bronze.

Russia has a tradition wealthy supporters rewarding Olympic success. Gold medalists at the Sochi Olympics received $120,000 and an SUV.

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More AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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