Critical Analysis

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					Critical Analysis
October 19th, 2008
Sports Management
Allison Duggan
       I believe the committee’s decision to withdraw their bid for the 2014 Commonwealth
Games was correct. An article from “The Coast Magazine” was used as research for the analysis,
and the following paper will critique the information gathered.
        The major issues discussed by the author of this article is that Halifax, Nova Scotia is
putting in a bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and that they are receiving financial support
from the federal government to do so. The committee was also receiving money from the city
government and several corporate sponsorships and different revenues. The author of the article
came to the conclusion of, “What could go wrong?”
        The author laid out several reasons for the bid being successful in Halifax. The games
would provide a great opportunity for the region and province to develop, and therefore would be
worth the cost. The games backers had provided assumptions for the total cost, which was
estimated at $785 million. It was said that this could generate around $2.4 billion dollars in
revenue. The bid would also bring social revenues as well including affordable housing, world
class sporting facilities and better transit systems. The financial support to fund the games came
from three separate groups: the federal government, Halifax Regional Municipality, and then
corporate sponsorships combined with licensing and broadcasting revenues. The federal
government had given $400 million, the HRM gave $200 million, and then the sponsorship deals
and revenues were being counted on for the final $165 million. More money had been collected
in the effort to actually bid for the games as well. To ensure the money was being used for the
interests of the public, the provincial deputy minister of Health Promotion and Protection as well
as the top bureaucrat for HRM were seated on the boards of directors for the bid. Other HRM
employees were involved in the process as well. The committee CEO of the bid, Scott Logan,
gave assurance that the bid budget would be watched closely and that the overruns that had been
seen in previous games would not be seen in Halifax. This was to ensure that the money coming
in would actually match up with the money needed to run the games. While all these facts are
good for the city and region, there are many things that could go wrong. Many points of the
author can be ambiguous, have value conflicts and use assumptions, and vital information is
        A lot of the wording in this article was questionable. Many statements had the possibility
of being ambiguous. There was a statement made that said many HRM employees were “loaned”
to the committee to develop the budget. There was no way to tell whether these employees were
also being compensated or what the terms of their “loan” were. Another point of ambiguity was
the city counsellor stating that he was only going to support the games if it cost the city $200
million. Anymore then this and he would withdraw support. It gave the illusion that while he did
support the games, he wasn’t completely sure of the management of it. If he did, he would find a
way to make more money work. The article conclusion in itself is also very ambiguous. It simply
states, “What could go wrong?” This could be read in a positive manner, where it seems that
everything is going perfectly and there is no way anything could fall through. However, it could
also easily be taken in a sarcastic manner. It seemed almost like foreshadowing, and that it was
preparing the reader for the falling through of the bid.
        The article had several value conflicts and assumptions. The entire budget itself was
based on assumptions. It was stated that the backers “assumed” all of the expenses for the games.
It is not explained how any of these numbers were developed or if they were even correct.
Almost everything in the article is based on these figures, and it isn’t even clear if they are
accurate. The backers were also never explained. Who are they? Where did they come from? It is
important to lay out how the numbers were concluded, and who included them. The backers who
stated these values could be uneducated in the necessary industry and have the numbers
completely wrong. The money coming from corporate sponsorships and other revenues is
another point of worry. A large amount of the budget relies on this money, and it isn’t even clear
how or if it is possible. Obtaining this final $165 million is crucial because there is no room for
other support from the government. This money is important to be able to hold the games, and if
the games were to be awarded to Halifax and this money not be obtained would cause a disaster.
Even if all the money was obtained, it would never be definite that the budget would be
sustained. The CEO of the committee gave assurance that the overruns seen in passed games
would not happen in 2014, but there is no way he can actually promise this. This is prescriptive
evidence; it is how it should be. Anything could happen, and to promise that it will be controlled
is unrealistic. The statements of all the positives of the games are also assumptions. While all
these prospective positives would be wonderful if they worked out, there is a possibility that they
may not. For example, the games are supposed to generate a $2.4 billion industrial output for the
province and create an additional 18, 000 jobs. However, it is possible that jobs could be
outsourced to other companies in different provinces. These assumptions all make it unclear
whether or not the bid could possibly be successful.
        The article outlined many ways in which the games would be successful and important in
the city of Halifax and the province of Nova Scotia. However, many shortcomings of the article
caused me to be sceptical of the committee and the bid. Too much financial information was
omitted and assumed, and the source of the information isn’t available to check reliability. If the
numbers ended up being accurate, it was also too close of a call to be able to obtain the funds to
run the games successfully. Therefore, I am very supportive of the committee’s decision to
withdraw their bid.
The Coast Magazine- Halifax

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