The price tag for the 2002 Winter Games is up nearly $200 million, but Olympic organizers still say they'll be able to cover the cost without going to Utah taxpayers.
After spending nearly a year crunching numbers behind closed doors, leaders of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee released a new $1.45 billion budget Thursday morning.SLOC trustees were scheduled to spend three hours Thursday reviewing the budget, produced with the help of a California-based consultant, the Bechtel Corp., hired at a cost of $750,000.
A vote to approve the budget is not expected until Oct. 8 at the earliest. Some trustees have already been pushing for more time to discuss the budget, which covers some 3,000 separate activities associated with staging the Games.
SLOC Chief Executive Officer Frank Joklik described the new budget to trustees Thursday as "bare bones" and said it could not be reduced without having "an impact on the success of the Games."
Most trustees who have already seen the budget said they were impressed with the amount of work put into it. Both the board's budget and executive committees met this week to go over the document.
At least one trustee, though, said he was not satisfied. Ken Bullock, the head of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, said he wanted to see more information, especially about where the needed money was coming from.
"It tells me generalities. It doesn't tell me how they're going to put on the Games," Bullock said. "There's nothing in there that gives you any comfort because there's no detail to it."
There was little question the size of the budget would increase as a result of the effort to examine the cost of the Olympics from the "bottom-up." Past budgets have been based on the cost of previous Winter Games.
But the budget also answers questions about where organizers expect to find additional revenue. There are no state or local taxes identified in the document.
But Joklik said organizers need $171 million from the federal government "over and above" the budget's bottom line. Most of the money, $131 million, would be used for transportation during the Games, while the rest would go to help pay for the Paralympic Games for disabled athletes that follow the Olympics, as well as security and other needs.
The $171 million is based on what Atlanta received from the federal government for the 1996 Games. If the federal government does not come up with the money, Salt Lake would simply do without, Joklik said.
State and local taxpayers have already contributed $59 million toward the construction of Olympic facilities, including a bobsled and luge track near Park City.
The new budget includes repayment of that money, along with another $40 million to keep the facilities operating after the Olympics, as required under a deal approved by the Legislature several years ago.
The areas where organizers plan to squeeze out more revenue include cash and contributions of goods and services by corporate sponsors plus the sale of both licensed merchandise and tickets.
The most recent budget identified $920 million in expenses that would have to be paid with cash and up to another $336 million that would have to come from corporate contributions.
Now, organizers say, the Olympics here will cost $1.01 billion in cash, plus another $443 million in sponsor contributions.
For example, organizers expect sponsors to come up with $122 million in computers and other technology needs. Prior budgets have projected ticket revenue at about $120 million. Now it's supposed to climb to $162 million. What's not explained is whether that's coming from a projected increase in the number of tickets sold or from price increases.
SLOC officials have said before that ticket prices won't be announced until after the International Olympic Committee approves SLOC's ticketing program in December 1999.
Sales of T-shirts, baseball caps, coffee mugs and other licensed merchandise are also expected to be higher, even though SLOC delayed the release of the Games' mascot by more than a year. The mascot won't be made public now until February 1999.
There aren't many other places to look for additional money. The amount of cash that SLOC can earn from selling corporate sponsorships is capped at about $250 million by a joint marketing agreement with the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Marketing/federal relations $ 36,401,000
Human resources/volunteers $ 38,649,000
Administration/finance $ 121,409,000
Communication $ 20,771,000> Game division $1,022,343,000
Other expenditures $ 213,691
Licensed merchandise 4%
Ticket sales 11%
Products and services 30%
Broadcast rights 31%