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Last Updated: Monday, 26 December 2005, 10:33 GMT
Beijing eyes Games profit in 2008
Beijing will host the 2008 Olympics
Beijing organisers are hoping to generate a profit in 2008
Beijing's 2008 Olympic Games could generate up to $16m (9.2m) in profit, according to state media.

Since the Los Angeles Games, most hosts have struggled to break even as the running costs have soared.

But efficient Beijing marketing chiefs have deals with 10 domestic sponsors and 11 global companies, Xinhua said.

"We would like to see $1bn (580m) in sponsorships, but there is much to do to reach that figure," said Beijing organiser Jiang Xiaoyu.

Los Angeles set a record profit of $220m when it hosted the 1984 Olympics.

Beijing's forecast operating budget is about $2bn, owing to heightened security concerns.

But Chinese organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are confident that sum will be more than clawed back, and have set a profit target of $16m, according to Xinhua.

"The Beijing Organising Committee's (BOCOG) budget will be met by the IOC's contribution from the sales of broadcast rights and international sponsorship and also by BOCOG's efforts in finding commercial partners and selling tickets," said IOC coordinating commission chairman Hein Verbruggen.

Sales of tickets to the 2008 Games are expected to start in early 2007.

"The prices of tickets for the opening ceremony and some popular events will be relatively high," Xinhua previously quoted BOCOG vice executive president Liu Jingmin as saying.

Profits from sales of products bearing the recently released five mascots of the Beijing Games, the "Friendlies", could reach as high as $300 million, Xinhua said.

To stage the last Olympics, Athens set a budget of $2.4bn (1.9 billion euros), but ended up spending more than nine billion euros, making the 2004 Games the most expensive in history.

Beijing has vowed to come in below Athens' operating budget, but is likely to have to spend far more - about $40bn - to get the Chinese capital's infrastructure ready to host the Games.

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