Friday, October 29, 2010

The Cost Of Sport

Now that the $6-BILLION Delhi Commonwealth Games are but a memory (and did you actually see $6-billion worth of facilities, attendance or competition?), questions remain. Transparency International (TI) reports the perceptions about corruption in India have actually increased in the wake of these scam-tainted Games.
There's been a drop in India's integrity score (ie: can ya trust 'em?), from 3.5 in 2007 and 3.4 in both 2008 and 3.3 now. TI's scale runs from zero (perceived to be the most corrupt) to 10 (low levels of corruption). India's rank on TI's list of corrupt nations is 87th out of 178 countries this year, indicating a serious corruption perception. And surely this will have a flow-on effect for India in terms of international trade and trust.
Sadly there will always be some administrators who cannot resist temptation when that amount of money comes into play. At least here in NZ, we simply could not run an event of that size. In fact, the World Rowing Championships (starting this weekend on Lake Karapiro) and next year's Rugby World Cup may be the last global sports events we can afford to host: the passion, skill base and knowledge is here but it's just too expensive to put them on.
The rowing is expected to break even (after costing about NZ$16 million) while the rugby organisers anticipate a NZ$40 million loss, which will be covered by the government (ie: taxpayers) and NZ Rugby Union.
Auckland recently withdrew its bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games after the government said it would not underwrite the costs. We simply don't have the commercial organisations sitting here saying they can bankroll it, or indeed enough population to support increased taxation to pay for it.
Still, I guess at least that means a proportional plunge in pinching possibilites in our sporting events...and that's gotta be a good thing!

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