Daphne Bramham: The knowns and known unknown of the 2030 Olympics bid

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Opinion: Among the preliminary numbers for B.C.’s potential bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics appear actually low

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“We all know there are identified knowns; there are issues we all know we all know. We additionally know there are identified unknowns; that’s to say we all know there are some issues we have no idea.” — Former U.S. secretary of state Donald Rumsfeld

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Donald Rumsfeld wasn’t speaking concerning the murky enterprise of costing out proposals for mega-events just like the Olympics, however he may need been.

What we discovered Friday concerning the Indigenous-led proposal for the 2030 Winter Olympics to be staged in Vancouver, Whistler and Solar Peaks is that it’ll price not less than $3.5 billion in 2022 {dollars}.

That’s the one identified identified that you would be able to take to the financial institution.

If the proposal will get to the Worldwide Olympic Committee in November, that $3.5 billion would — hypothetically — be shared by private and non-private sources. However keep in mind that on the finish of the day, anyone — the Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Lil’wat First Nations main the bid, the native, provincial or federal governments — must underwrite the bid, guaranteeing that every one the payments shall be paid when the enjoyable’s over.

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In Friday’s telling, taxpayers would solely be on the hook for as much as $1.2 billion with the rest coming from broadcast rights, ticket gross sales, merchandise, sponsorships and “different income.” That’s the primary of many identified unknowns within the report.

All prices in addition to comparative figures for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Video games are in 2022 {dollars}. The 2030 estimates embrace contingencies together with three per cent a yr for inflation primarily based on Financial institution of Canada predictions. However with inflation on the rise and warnings of a recession to observe, it’s one other identified unknown.

It bears noting, too, that it’s unimaginable to confirm the 2010 Vancouver Organizing Committee’s spending. Its monetary statements, minutes and different paperwork regarding its practically $1.9 billion in expenditures are sealed within the civic archives till 2025.

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With that in thoughts and earlier than we go away the manager abstract of the 12-page “preliminary monetary estimates and assumptions” to dive extra deeply into the unknown, let’s check out one thing we do know.

The report says safety prices in 2010 had been $1.1 billion. But, magically, the 2030 feasibility crew predicts/estimates/hopes that shall be decreased by half to not more than $583 million by 2030 on account of improved intelligence gathering and technological adjustments.

The report warns that that is an “early, preliminary estimate” with “far more work to be executed with native coverage in a wide range of jurisdictions (native, provincial and federal) and inside their numerous jurisdictional authorities.”

That’s a whole lot of unknowns even contemplating that the $583 million features a 25 per cent contingency for the unknowns.

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Transferring by the report, the three athletes villages are estimated to price $165 million to $267 million with the Jericho Lands owned by MST Developments and the Canada Improvement Corp. the popular web site of the Vancouver village.

The websites for the opposite two are nonetheless to be determined.

Oddly, the report says the Whistler and Vancouver villages in 2010 price solely $87 million in 2022 {dollars} ($67 million on the time).

That’s onerous to sq. with what we all know.

A 2010 report back to Vancouver metropolis council set the price of Vancouver’s village at $299.8 million, which included a waterfront park, neighborhood centre, a heritage facility and 252 models of social housing. And that didn’t embrace the $1-billion development price paid by the town when the private-sector developer defaulted. A few of that was later recouped by rental gross sales.

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Leaving apart the village development prices, that very same 2010 report tallied the town’s whole invoice for the Olympic and Olympic-related initiatives at $554.3 million together with cash spent on demonstration streetcar and theatre renovations.

In navy phrases, it’s known as mission or scope creep and it’s lined in one in every of two thriller packing containers in Friday’s monetary estimates — “discretionary authorities funding” — the stuff that’s all the time disavowed by Olympic organizers regardless that they’re fast to take credit score for catalyzing investments and financial spinoff advantages.

In 2010, scope creep went like this: We’re finally going to construct a SkyTrain line to Richmond and YVR, so why not construct it now? They did and it price $1.9 billion.

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If we actually need to showcase Vancouver, perhaps it’s time to construct that new conference centre? They did at a value that went from $565 million to $883 million.

If the Worldwide Olympic Committee is worried concerning the time it takes to get to Whistler, and we’re finally going to widen the Sea to Sky Freeway, why not do it and make sure the bid? Add one other $600 million.

The second thriller field is “important companies,” the nuts and bolts of communities. They embrace “however should not restricted to” issues like site visitors management, highway closures, ambulance and well being companies, emergency planning and “and so forth.”

A Analysis Co. ballot executed this month discovered assist had rebounded to 54 per cent after dipping to 43 per cent in October. Does the price matter in the case of public assist? Perhaps.

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However this can be a deliberate unknown. There shall be no vote.

There isn’t a time, for the reason that 2030 feasibility crew goals by August to have endorsements from the councils of the 4 host Nations, the First Nations within the Solar Peaks area and each Vancouver and Whistler and the assist of the provincial and federal authorities no later than November.

Residents’ solely probability is to have interaction is on-line at www.gamesengagement.ca/learn-more

There may be additionally one remaining and essential unknown.

Crucial to the credibility of an Indigenous-led bid framed round reconciliation is the assist of First Nations in Skwelkwek’welt as the standard territory close to Kamloops is named. They led a boycott of the 2010 Olympics to protest the event of Solar Peaks on their unceded land which was executed with out session and their consent.

Extra about that within the coming days.

dbramham@postmedia.com

Twitter: @bramham_daphne

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