Friday, January 14, 2011

Asian Games: Sapporo making bid for Asian Winter Games

Sapporo will move to host the 2017 Asian Winter Games, city sources have said.
The city of Obihiro, also in Hokkaido, is in talks with Sapporo to hold some of the sporting events. It is likely Sapporo, which will make a formal decision in January, will be the only bidding city as no others are moving to become candidates.
"If Sapporo accepts hosting the Asian Winter Games, we can continue holding Asian winter sports without extinguishing the torch," Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda said on Tuesday. "This would be a joyous occasion for the JOC. We would like to give our utmost cooperation to help pull this off."
The host city for the 2017 Asian Winter Games will be decided at an Olympic Council of Asia general assembly at the 7th edition of the Winter Asiad being held in both Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan, from Jan 30 to February 6.
Aomori hosted the 2003 Asian Winter Games but there have been nointernational multisporting events held in the country since then amid the recent global economic recession.
The JOC is hoping that hosting the event will help it gather momentum toward a bid for another Olympics and increase competitiveness among athletes.
According to the JOC, Sapporo would hold five sports, including skiing, skating and curling, and 11 different events.
The cost of hosting the Winter Asiad is thought to be around 3.5 billion yen, taking into account the use of existing venues.
The JOC, at the behest of the OCA, made a request on Dec. 3 that Sapporo bid to host the Asian Winter Games.
Sapporo initially said it would carefully consider hosting the event due to the financial constraints of such an undertaking, but the JOC later offered support of 1 billion yen, and the city agreed it could help promote commercial tourism.
Sapporo could expect about 800 million yen from corporate sponsors and from ticket sales and would shoulder about 1.7 billion yen of the costs.
Sapporo, the largest city in the northern island prefecture of Hokkaido, hosted the first Asian Winter Games in 1986, as well as the second edition four years later.

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