HA NOI — Viet Nam has summitted a plan to organise an economical Asian Games (ASIAD) with a budget of only US$120 million if the country wins the right to host the tournament's 18th edition in 2019 in Ha Noi.
If Viet Nam wins, the country would spend only half of what was previously anticipated. China spent $18.7 billion on the 17th ASIAD in Guangzhou in 2010.
According to Hoang Vinh Giang, general secretary of the Viet Nam Olympics Committee, $120 million would be the minimum to host a successful games.
Following the new plan, Viet Nam would utilise existing sporting facilities located in and around Ha Noi, rather than constructing new venues, to host the opening and closing ceremonies along with the rest of the Games.
Giang said the commmittee had only requested a new velodrome and rowing lake for the Games.
The velodrome, with a capacity of 2,000 spectators, is expected to cost VND100 billion ($5 million), and will be based in Ha Noi's Sport Complex. This is one venue that the sports department has been requesting for some time, without success.
The rowing club would cost from $5-10 million if it is constructed in Hai Phong, about 120km from the capital. However, it would be much cheaper if the West Lake rowing centre was upgraded for the purpose.
Another important project would be the athlete's village which would be built in Long Bien District. After the Games, the accomodation would go on sale as affordable housing.
ASIAD is the biggest sporting event on the continent which gathers the most powerful athletes.
Viet Nam made an official bid to host the event last March and has been shortlisted in the top four candidates, along with the UAE, Chinese Taipei and Indonesia.
The Olympics Council of Asia will announce the winning country in November in Macau.
Viet Nam has proposed 35 sports to be contested at the Games, 26 of which are Olympic events and five are traditional Asian – sepak takraw, wushu, karate, baseball and kabadi. The remaining four are Vietnamese "specialties" – chess, shuttle-cock kicking, vovinam and squash.
In Guangzhou, Viet Nam won one gold, 17 silver and 15 bronze medals to finish 23rd. The next ASIAD will be in Incheon, South Korea, in 2014. — VNS