Auckland 2020 Olympic Bid “Unaffordable”

Auckland’s Mayor John Banks said Tuesday he is having a close look at the city of Auckland, New Zealand making a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

But a New Zealand radio station says his aspirations appear to be coming as a bit of a surprise to the government.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister John Key told TVNZ that the news was a surprise to him.

The spokesperson said Banks had raised the idea in passing with the Prime Minister some time ago, but at no stage had there been any meeting or proposal with either the Prime Minister or Minister for Sport and Recreation.

Key said he likes the idea of bringing big events to New Zealand, but the Olympics is way out of the country’s league.

He said, “on the basis of the model that’s operated in Sydney, Beijing and will operate in London, the Olympics in New Zealand is unaffordable. It is possible that there’s a lower cost model and I certainly think the IOC talked about that in Beijing, but I haven’t seen any proposals and that would be a long way into the future, if ever, if that was possible”.