Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilors yesterday again questioned the Taipei City Government’s budget for hosting the Summer Universiade in 2017, challenging the city for spending more than NT$1.23 billion (US$40 million) to promote the sports event.
The budget will be used to promote the games over the next six years. This year alone, the city government listed NT$145 million for both domestic and international promotion of the games.
“There haven’t been major promotions of the 2013 Universiade in Kazan, Russia, yet, but Taipei City can’t wait to begin international promotion of the 2017 event in 2017 with such a huge budget,” DPP Taipei City Councilor Wu Su-yao (吳思瑤) said at the Taipei City Council.
DPP Taipei City Councilor -Liang Wen-jie (梁文傑) also lashed out at the city government for failing to include details in the budget report before sending it to the council for review.
Citing the example of the World Games hosted by the then-Kaohsiung City Government in 2009, Liang said Kaohsiung did not list a promotion budget for the games until it had finished most of the basic infrastructure preparation, urging the Taipei City Government to offer a detailed budget report on the promotional activities.
The NT$1.23 billion budget for promoting the games is included in the total budget of NT$42.5 billion for the Universiade, an international sporting event for university students, with the central government responsible for a NT$340 million share of the expenses.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Timothy Ting (丁庭宇), who is heading the games preparatory committee, said the Universiade is the -second-largest sports event after the Summer Olympics, and the promotional budget would be used over six years to both promote the games and boost Taipei and Taiwan’s reputation.
He dismissed the city councilors’ comparison of the Kao-hsiung World Games to the Univesiade, and accused the Kaohsiung government of having failed to promote the World Games on the international stage.
“It is necessary for the city to promote the games both domestically and internationally, and it will be a great chance to introduce Taipei and Taiwan to the world,” Ting said, while promising to present a detailed budget report to the council.