We will not be big spenders, says Almaty 2022 bid

Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:40am EST
 
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By Karolos Grohmann

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Kazakhstan's Almaty, bidding to host the 2022 winter Olympics, has no plans to emulate the Sochi Games and will be spending only a fraction of what the Russians have invested, bid officials said on Thursday.

Almaty is making another run for the winter Games after failing to make the shortlist for the 2014 Olympics which were eventually awarded to Sochi.

The Russian Black Sea resort has pumped in about $50 billion in venue construction and wider infrastructure projects, making them the most expensive Olympics.

"It will be many, many times less," Andrey Kryukov, executive board member of the Kazakh Olympic Committee told reporters. "It will not be a big budget."

The Kazakh city, which according to Kryukov has about two-thirds of venues already in place, was initially seen as a long shot.

Since the withdrawal of Stockholm shortly after formally announcing a bid and the refusal of traditional winter destinations Germany and Switzerland to run, however, its chances have improved.

Almaty is up against Ukraine's Lviv, Norwegian capital Oslo, Poland's Krakow and Beijing.

With a shortlist to be decided in five months its chances could further improve. Mass protests in Ukraine are damaging Lviv's chances and a third successive Olympics in Asia is also unlikely, denting Beijing's hopes.   Continued...

 
A woman walks across a snow-covered park in Almaty November 21, 2013. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov