IOC gives assurances on 2010 sponsorship revenue
By Allan Dowd
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee has assured organizers of next year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver it will help with a potential budget gap caused by the global recession, officials said Wednesday.
Canadian organizers have warned the 2010 Games could face a C$30 million ($27.3 million) revenue shortfall because the IOC has only been able to sign up nine of the 11 worldwide corporate sponsors expected when Vancouver's C$1.7 billion operating budget was prepared.
Specifics of the IOC's offer were not released, but Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) officials said it gave them the assurance they needed with the opening of the Games in the Western Canadian city now less than six months away.
"With the commitment the IOC has made to us and the contingency we had in our budget I am now extremely confident we will achieve our targets," Dave Cobb, VANOC's executive vice-president said following meetings with IOC officials.
The IOC panel that is overseeing preparations for the Games was in Vancouver for its final visit before the competitions begin, and its leader lavished praise on VANOC's readiness for the event.
"I really feel confident we will have a fantastic Games," panel Chairman Rene Fasel told a news conference.
Both VANOC and the IOC downplayed suggestions that the issue of corporate sponsorship had caused a rift between the two groups.
Canadian organizers had vowed the Games would have a balanced budget, but they have found themselves struggling with the impact of the economic downturn. Continued...