Belarus leader predicts cost rise for 2019 European Games

MINSK, Belarus (AP) " The president of Belarus says the cost of hosting the 2019 European Games will be more than the government's previous estimate.

Alexander Lukashenko says the games will cost around $50 million, in comments published on the presidential website, up from the previous estimate of $30 million to $40 million made by sports minister Alexander Shamko.

Lukashenko also predicts the games will turn a profit. Minsk, the Belarusian capital, received the games last month as a backup choice after the Netherlands pulled out citing financial concerns last year.

That cost is still markedly below the billions Azerbaijan spent on last year's inaugural games. It built numerous arenas, while Belarus plans to use existing venues.

The opening ceremony will cost under $1 million, compared to almost $100 million in Azerbaijan, Lukashenko adds.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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