Hosting the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships could cost Hungary 49 billion forints (EUR 157m), though the budget would recover about 10 billion forints in the form of VAT, the government’s commissioner for priority investments in the capital has said.
Balázs Fürjes said the construction of an aquatics centre in the north of the capital that will serve as the event’s main venue would cost net 21.4 billion forints. Planning is expected to cost net 1.5 billion forints, while net 14 billion forints is budgeted for the construction and dismantling of temporary structures and flood protection infrastructure, and net 1.8 billion forints has been set aside as a reserve. Including VAT, the items add up to about 49 billion forints, he said. The 2016 budget bill allocates 27.3 billion forints for developments necessary to host the FINA World Aquatics Championships.
FINA announced in March that it granted the right to host the event to Budapest, and an agreement was signed in April. The event was originally planned to be held in Guadalajara in Mexico but the city pulled out in February for financial reasons. Five billion TV viewers are expected to tune into the event worldwide, which has been branded the largest-ever sports event ever to take place in Hungary.
Despite its high costs, the event is expected to pay an invaluable contribution to boosting the country’s image abroad.