POSTED: March 19th 2013

Samaranch: US$100 million on three bids and well worth it

Juan Antonio Samarach lauds the return on investment / SFC
Juan Antonio Samarach lauds the return on investment / SFC

LAURA WALDEN in MADRID / Sports Features Communications

March 19 - International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Juan Antonio Samaranch firmly believes that the investment in bidding that Spain has made of the past three bids has been a good one. He estimates they have spent around US$100 million with all three bids.

Madrid estimates their budget to be at US$1.9 billion and they hired Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) to  quantify the return and they came up with US$5 billion increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Samaranch believes that for Spain to keep bidding for the Games it is an "act of responsibility". As the son of former IOC President Samaranch and an IOC Executive Board member with a background in finance, he speaks from a particular point of view.

He said, "We invested the money and it would be hugely and vastly irresponsible to walk out now and not wait there and try to get the financial, economic, social returns of all the money that we have already invested.

"We cannot afford not to continue."

He also says that the investment has been rewarded through a number of channels.

"Our local communities spend more than $30 million a year to promote internationally their regions. The amount of unpaid publicity that we get through you, the international press, for any bid is much more the return on investment."

"Bidding in itself is not necessarily throwing money out the window. Even if you lose.

"What I meant when I said that we have done the investment and we need to see if we can turn this into value, I am talking about billions. Not tens of millions but billions of dollars," he clarified.

He went on to say that instead of bidding to offer great changes for a city, Madrid has done it the other way around. They offer the changes that are ready now and this is the core strength of the bid.

In a nutshell Samaranch said, "Our job is rather simple, we know the project inside and out.  It is simple and very very good. We just need to explain it in a simple and understandable way."

Keywords · Madrid 2020 · Juan Antonio Samaranch · Olympic bidding · finance

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