Venue Financing Options
There are three main approaches frequently used to financing the major venues. These are 1) government/public funding, as is being used for the Guangdong Olympic Stadium in Guangzhou City, People’s Republic of China, for the 9th National Games in 2001, 2) public/private funding such as a BOOT (Build Own Operate and Transfer), which is funding the Sydney 2000 Olympic Stadium in Sydney, or 3) private sector financing.
Government-financed venues are more commonplace if the long-range business plan cannot identify a long-term revenue tenant for the facility or if it is determined that the facility will be used for future international competitions. In such cases a design competition or open selection process may be required.
There are a variety of public/private financing options. One option is a BOOT scheme that minimizes public funding and relies on private sector capitol. Under this scenario, the government supplies the land with possible infrastructure improvements and/or additional funding to offset the Olympic overlay costs. The intent of this strategy is for private sector consortiums to develop and operate the facility and recoup the investment through a lease arrangement over a fixed period of time that may range from 20 to 50 years. At the end of that period the facility reverts back to the government.
The government has the opportunity to combine or separate the facility design from the BOOT proposal. The government may choose to host a design competition with the winning design tendered to the potential consortiums for development, or the government may choose to establish a base facility brief by which each consortium creates its own facility design. One of the key drawbacks from the latter option is that the winning consortium may be the one with the best financial plan and a less than ideal facility design.
With the requirements of the Olympic overlay, it has become uncommon that a development is entirely privately funded. An infusion of public financing to offset the Olympic requirements is often required to maintain a facility’s viability. Understanding these requirements will reduce the facility cost impact.
Guangdong Olympic Stadium in Guangzhou City, People’s Republic of China