South Korean athletes prepare for the upcoming Asian Games, to be held in Guangzhou, China, in November. Hong Kong is preparing to make a bid to host the games in 2023.
Cramped spaces, pollution and punishing working hours mean Hong Kongers are not exactly known for leading active lifestyles. That fact isn’t stopping the government from bidding to host the 2023 Asian Games, even if it means racking up a loss of HK$13.8 billion (US$1.78 billion).
This will be Hong Kong’s second attempt to host the event, after losing to Doha to host the 2006 games. More importantly it comes after Hong Kong hosted the East Asian Games last year, an experience that yielded an ego-boosting gold medal in soccer against Asian powerhouse Japan and apparently inspired the government to reach for greater sporting heights.
The event’s HK$13.8 billion price tag comes from a government consultation document. According to that workup, operating and capital costs are between HK$13.7 billion and HK$14.5 billion, to be offset in part by revenue from ticket sales, merchandising and sponsorship of between HK$700 and HK$860 million. The figure omits the HK$30.17 billion earmarked for the construction of eight new venues, as well as revenue that would be generated from job creation and tourists. In comparison, the East Asian Games cost an estimated $300 million, but that figure is still subject to auditing, according to a government spokesperson.
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