Beijing Games to make $ 20-$ 30 mln pr

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Beijing, Nov 19: Beijing's Olympic committee would not need ''one cent'' of state financial support to hold the 2008 Games, which are expected to turn a profit of about 20 million dollar to 30 million dollar, according to a senior Games organiser.

Yu Zaiqing, an executive vice president of the Beijing Organising Committee for Olympic Games (BOCOG), said revenues from broadcast rights, sponsors, merchandise and ticket sales would exceed anticipated costs of $2.4 billion to host the Games.

''Revenue from these four main areas can guarantee a budget of 2.4 billion dollar. According to my initial estimates, the (Olympics) will generate about 20 million dollar to 30 million dollar in net profit,'' Yu told Friday's China Business News.

''I can confidently tell you, we do not need one cent of state financial support to hold this Olympics,'' Yu said.

Organisers have previously said the Games would still make a profit despite costs increasing 30 per cent since the Chinese capital won the right to host the Games in 2001.

The IOC contribute about half of the costs of running the Games and Beijing's three-tiered sponsorship programme -- the most comprehensive in the history of the Games, according to BOCOG -- is likely to more than cover the rest.

Organisers and sponsors have been cagey about revenue from the programme, but in August sports goods manufacturer Adidas announced it would pay 204.2 million dollar to be a top tier sponsor for 2012 London Games.

ATHLETES' FUND

Beijing Games organisers were ''preparing to use the profit to build an athletes' fund,'' Yu said, without elaborating.

Yu, who is also a vice minister in China's sports ministry, the General Administration of Sports, said the main challenges for organisers were not related to costs or building Olympic venues on time, but tackling Beijing's chronic air pollution and handling foreign groups' demands for change in China.

''Every Olympic Games faces that boycott-the-Games noise,'' he said.

''Certain international politicians and organisations will bring all sorts of agendas and requests, and hope that China can move more closely to a Western values system and society,'' Zai said.

Hollywood figures have joined rights groups in seizing upon the Olympics as a chance to exert pressure on China for everything from the conflict in Darfur to Beijing's support of Myanmar's ruling military junta and its treatment of journalists and dissidents.

Beijing has responded by telling critics not to link the Olympics to political issues or boycotts, saying such attempts would be ''inappropriate'' and ''unpopular''.

Yu did not deviate from the official line, but said that China would handle such ''problems'' largely by not tackling them head-on.

''Our principle is to not to directly take part in the debate, and not to intensify the conflict -- to use appropriate means and methods to neutralise the conflicts and risks.

Finally, to hold a successful Olympics to prove China's ability and its sincerity.''

UNI

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