Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vietnam would need around $150 million to hold ASIAD 18.

According to sports expert Nguyen Hong Minh, the former head of the High Performance Sports Department, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has gathered opinions from related bodies on setting up a velodrome track at the National Sports Complex in My Dinh, Hanoi.

Minh said it was risky to let a foreigner invest in this kind of project, because betting could eventually be involved, a sensitive issue in Vietnam.

No more details have been released, but Minh suggested the ministry consider another process to set up a velodrome track to serve Asian Games 18 (ASIAD) and Vietnam bicycle racing in the future.

Minh admitted that velodrome racing was an essential part of ASIAD, but that the investment required was currently too great for Vietnam.

At the most recent answering session to the National Assembly’s Committee of Culture, Education, Youth, Pioneers and Children, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh said Vietnam would need around $150 million to hold ASIAD 18.

However, Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan said it would be very difficult to mobilise enough finance for building a velodrome. The foreign partner interested in building the track, Korean-based KSPO, was highly committed, but required a not-yet-approved tax exemption.

In May 2013 the Government Office assigned the Hanoi People’s Committee to license the Vietnam Sports Platform Company (VSP) to build the project.

The Vietnam National Sports Administration forecasted an investor would need at least $200 million to build a velodrome, and another $300 million would be needed for support facilities such as hotels, shops and food and beverage outlets.

On the VSP website, the company reports it was established to help develop cycling as a sport in Vietnam.
Bicycle racing is a very popular international sport, but has yet to catch on in Vietnam. VSP, with the support of KSPO in Korea, would help introduce the sport through the velodrome project.
Accordingly, the project would include two phases. In the first, a mixed-use indoor cycling velodrome and accompanying shops and facilities would be set up. The second phase would consist of a 5-star hotel and serviced residences and a commercial plaza.Phase 2 would serve as additional lodging for the ASIAD, the website added.

Upon receiving initial approval from the prime minister, VSP formed a joint venture agreement with the National Sports Complex of Vietnam to form a public-private partnership with the goal of constructing the project.

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