Soccer: World Cup at risk from V8s

By Yvonne Tahana

Gordon Chesterman. Photo / Supplied
Gordon Chesterman. Photo / Supplied

Hamilton City Council staff are aiming to host under-20 soccer World Cup matches in 2015 but deputy mayor Gordon Chesterman says the kitty is empty after multi-million-dollar overruns attached to the high-profile V8 Supercars series.

Next Thursday, councillors will consider a report from the acting general manager of events and economic developments, Lance Vervoort. It outlines a plan for the city to host seven matches, plus a quarter-final, at a cost of $809,000 over four years.

The council has a debt of more than $400 million. One of its biggest blowouts in recent years came from hosting the V8 Supercars. This was supposed to cost ratepayers $7 million over seven years. In three years it's cost the city $37.4 million.

Mr Chesterman said that as a former soccer player, he was disappointed he couldn't back the soccer event."There just isn't the money."

If the bid is approved, it needs inclusion in the council's 2012-2022 10-year plan. The report argues the city has a proven ability to host international sporting fixtures at Waikato Stadium and estimates the city would be boosted by $3.5 million in economic benefits.

Mayor Julie Hardaker says she has asked for a full breakdown of what it would mean for the infrastructure, budget and the city's economy.

- NZ Herald

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