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Olympic trust trims Richmond's funding

This year, the 2010 Games Operating Trust handed $2.7 million to the Richmond Olympic Oval Corporation—cash that accounted for 21 per cent of the River Road facility
This year, the 2010 Games Operating Trust handed $2.7 million to the Richmond Olympic Oval Corporation—cash that accounted for 21 per cent of the River Road facility's revenue.
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A trust fund that helps bankroll the operations of three facilities from the 2010 Winter Olympics is trimming its payout to the Richmond Olympic Oval next year by $500,000.

This year, the 2010 Games Operating Trust handed $2.7 million to the Richmond Olympic Oval Corporation—cash that accounted for 21 per cent of the River Road facility's revenue. But for 2014, the trust is doling out just $2.2 million.

According to a 2014 oval budget report from Rick Dusanj, the trust decided to earmark all interest income for the year to the Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies Society, which manages the other two Olympic facilities the trust benefits, instead of splitting it with the oval.

"Even with this unfavourable impact to the 2014 budget, the corporation has still budgeted for an overall net increase in the budget compared to the previous year," noted Dusanj, controller for the oval corporation.

Equal contributions of $55 million from the province and federal government established the trust before the Games. It's governed by a board comprising government, Olympic and municipal officials. Each year a percentage of the fund is split between Richmond and Whistler.

City spokesperson Ted Townsend said Richmond's latest payout will be less because the board found Whistler in greater need of financial support, but said Richmond's financial plan provides for the variance.

"It's been well publicized that Whistler has some challenges financially, so it wasn't unexpected," said Townsend. "We'll always make the case we'd love to get a bigger share of the proceeds, but the Games Operating Trust obviously has a number of interests they need to support, and ultimately the board makes its funding decision."

Adding to the oval's revenues next year are a growing number of events, 30 of which have already been confirmed for 2014.

Oval corporation officials expect to bring in $13.1 million next year, up $157,422. A rise in facility costs is also bringing expenses up—to $12.9 million, which includes an estimated $1.3 million to bolster the facility's reserve account.

Taxpayers' contribution to the oval's budget will rise two per cent next year, bringing the city subsidy to $3,208,000.

As for the oval's $2.4-million capital budget, which funds new projects, $650,000 is budgeted for yoga studios, $420,000 for computers and software, $300,000 for retail space and $247,965 for facility equipment.

Meanwhile, work continues on the Richmond Olympic Experience project inside the oval. Scheduled to open in fall 2014, the museum will feature three floors of displays, interactive media and hands-on sporting simulations.

2010 Games Operating Trust payouts to Richmond

•2014: $2,200,000*

•2013: $2,700,000*

•2012: $2,785,000

•2011: $2,739,000

•2010: $2,305,000

*Estimated

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