The only lasting legacy for Euro 2012 hosts may be a huge debt
The people of Ukraine are looking forward to hosting the Euro 2012, but new predictions warn that the country might end up with a debt of $8bn. Photo: Anosmia/Flickr
20.01.2012By Play the Game
The cost of hosting mega-events is high. New predictions say that Ukraine, co-host of the Euro 2012, who has long struggled to meet UEFA’s deadlines, could end up staring at a loss of $8bn for the honour of hosting the event.
Reports are blaming the heavy cost overruns on the desperate attempt to make up for lost time over the past four years, writes Keir Radnedge.
The latest quarterly report from project analysis group Da Vinci has signalled that Ukraine will not be able to recoup heavy investment from football tourism and that the only prospect is of significant losses.
The report states: “The overall cost of the championship in Ukraine may be at least $14bn. The losses may amount to between $6bn and $8bn. These funds are unlikely to return to the country’s economy in the medium term.
“We do not expect an increase in the flow of tourists after the championship in the second half of 2012 that would dramatically change the situation in the recreation area. At the same time there will be no boost to tourism in the country or development of small and medium businesses.”
In the light of these facts, the question is whether UEFA President Michel Platini has been too cavalier in defying all caution and sticking by Ukraine as a host nation. The Ukraine example may at least serve as a warning to sports federations placing their great prestige events in unknown territory, argues Keir Radnedge.