No one knows exactly how much Calgary, Canada, enjoyed in surplus from the 1988 Winter Olympics, a state official said Thursday after press accounts disputed figures used by Salt Lake Olympics backers.
Brad Barber, state director of economic and demographic analysis, said last week the surplus was $84 million. The 15th Olympic Winter Games Official Report said the figure was $32 million, a difference of $52 million."What is the final surplus? Well, no one really knows that at this point," Barber told the Salt Lake Winter Games Organizing Executive Committee, the group crafting a June bid for the 1998 Winter Olympics before the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The $84 million figure does not include expenditures for endowments made to two Canadian Olympics organizations while the $32 million figure does, a Calgary City Hall official told the Deseret News this week.
But Barber said the endowment figures actually amount to $78 million dollars, and said the official Olympics report also projects that surplus figures could be as large as $46 million.
But the figures are irrelevant anyway and should not be compared to what Salt Lake City could expect from hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics, Barber said. "The point is Calgary did not lose any money."
Additionally, Barber said he has been underestimating the economic impact of the games enjoyed by the province of Alberta. He then told a reporter that the positive impact was actually $980 million, not the $700 million figure he had originally released.
Committee Chairman Tom Welch said assembling a competitive bid to be made in 1991 before the International Olympic Committee would ideally require inital improvements of $70 million, although it could be done for a minimum of $40 million.
The USOC is requiring bidding cities to have in place a mechanism for financing three facilities, including a speed-skating rink, ski jump and bobsled-luge run. The bobsled-luge run could cost $22 million to $25 million, Welch said.
"By the time 1998 comes around . . . to be competitive we will have to show an enclosed speed-skating oval," he added.