HCMC wants $687 mln budget to host Southeast Asia’s biggest sports event

By Tuyet Nguyen   January 10, 2018 | 02:00 pm GMT+7
HCMC wants $687 mln budget to host Southeast Asia’s biggest sports event
An artist impression of a new sports venue planned in Ho Chi Minh City for the SEA Games in 2021.

The city says it will need three new venues to host the SEA Games in 2021, but Hanoi claims it could organize the event for a tenth of the cost.

Ho Chi Minh City is looking for VND15.6 trillion ($686.8 million) to host the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in 2021, an event it said will help promote the city.

The city said in a proposal to the prime minister that the money will come from both public and private sources, the latter playing the key role.

The cost proposal has already been reviewed by the country’s top tourism and sports authorities.

“Hosting SEA Games 31 will be an opportunity to boost HCMC’s status and reputation, and promote its beautiful and modern image to the international community,” the city said in the proposal.

Besides its 22 existing sports venues and others that it can use in the neighboring provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai, the city expects it will need another track and field stadium that can hold 50,000 people and two sports centers for practice and competition. The new venues account for more than 70 percent of the estimated cost.

The government is still deciding whether to choose HCMC, the country's largest money maker, or the capital Hanoi to host the 31st edition of the SEA Games.

Hanoi estimated that it would only need VND1.7 trillion ($74.8 million) to organize the event in a proposal compiled in 2016.

The SEA Games are held every two years. Vietnam hosted the Games in 2003 when the main events were held in Hanoi with some activities in HCMC. Last year, the country sent 476 athletes to the Games in Kuala Lumpur, which gathered around 6,000 athletes from 11 Southeast Asian states.

The Games will take place in Metro Manila, the Philippines in 2019.