VANOC Board of Directors receives positive venue construction report; management ready for spotlight of being next Games and remains on track financially



    VANCOUVER, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - With only 16 days remaining until Phase 1 of
ticket sales to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games begins on October 3 - one of the
biggest milestones and public engagement activities prior to the Games - the
Board of Directors for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic
and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) held its fifth meeting of 2008.
    At today's meeting the Board reviewed a number of positive updates on the
venue construction program which will see all competition venues completed and
winter athletes competing at world-class levels on all venues this winter. The
meeting also included a number of regular agenda items as well as updates to
the Board of Directors on the business plan, sport, sponsorship, ticket sales,
the launch of a new graphic identity and pictograms and the re-launch of
www.vancouver2010.com, the Official Website of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games.
    "The pace for VANOC's management and staff has already accelerated after
the conclusion of a highly successful Beijing 2008 Games and the Board today
received a number of updates that provide confidence we're on track
financially and ready for the pressure and spotlight that comes with hosting
the next Games," said Jack Poole, Chairman of the Board. "Final touches on
venue construction are underway and athletes are already here training and
getting ready to compete. With the first of this winter season's 16 sport
events starting next month and tickets on sale in a matter of weeks, Canadians
and sport enthusiasts around the world will be able to touch and feel the
Games more and more each day."

    
    Highlights of reports and updates delivered at the September 17, 2008
    VANOC Board Meeting included:

    CEO and Senior Management Reports

    Beijing 2008
    

    The Beijing 2008 Games provided VANOC with a number of learning
opportunities in key areas, including ticketing, volunteers, the spectator
experience, village operations, sport production and decision making when
confronted with the unexpected.

    Budget Update/Functional Reviews

    An update was provided on the business plan and ongoing measures being
taken by VANOC management to review key functional areas to ensure a balanced
budget. Reviews of VANOC's 53 functions are now complete. VANOC's updated
budget is being developed this year and will be taken to the Board for
approval in late 2008/early 2009.

    Sport

    The Sport department is preparing for the first of 16 sport events this
winter season; short track speed skating at the Pacific Coliseum from
October 24-26. Sport has welcomed nine National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and
National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) to Vancouver since May and is planning
for 11 additional NOC visits and six NPC visits in the coming weeks and
months. In addition, VANOC has recently hosted biathlon, cross-country skiing
and luge delegations and is preparing for upcoming visits from bobsleigh,
skeleton, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, curling, short track speed skating,
ski jumping, luge, biathlon, cross-county skiing, cross-country skiing
(Paralympic), biathlon (Paralympic), alpine skiing (Paralympic) and wheelchair
curling delegations.

    Sponsorship

    Revenue commitments currently generated from domestic sponsorship for the
2010 Winter Games is at $735 million, or 97 per cent of VANOC's overall target
of $760 million. National Partner and Official Supporter revenue targets have
been achieved, but VANOC expects to sign anywhere from six to eight new
sponsors at the Official Supplier level.

    Report of the Finance Committee

    The Board received reports from two meetings of the Finance Committee,
held on August 11 and September 8, 2008. A number of contracts were approved
for final negotiation; VANOC will disclose information regarding contracts
once the contracts are finalized.
    The Finance Committee approved a contract with Aggreko Canada for the
provision of temporary power and temperature control services and equipment.

    
    Venue Construction Update

    -   Procurement: Only minor awards are outstanding. Procurement for
        Vancouver 2010 construction is over 93 per cent complete.

    -   Venue contingency analysis: The venues central contingency balance,
        as of the last report, was $15.77 million. A drawdown of $2 million
        was approved by the VANOC Board today to cover additional costs at
        the Whistler Athletes' Centre that will bring the balance of the
        venue contingency to $13.77 million. VANOC remains on track to finish
        its venue construction program on or under its $580 million budget.

    -   Richmond Olympic Oval: Construction is on track to be completed on
        schedule. Work on removing and replacing roofing material is nearing
        completion. Installation of a test ice sheet was successfully
        completed at the beginning of August. A new ice sheet was installed
        at the beginning of September. Members of the Canadian speed skating
        team were the first athletes in the world to have access to the Oval
        and have successfully tested the ice over the past few days.

    -   Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre: Construction is on schedule. The
        final sand and insulating layers for the curling venue's competition
        ice slab are complete. Work on the building's envelope continues and
        interior finishes are proceeding. Drywall in the curling venue is
        80 per cent complete.

    -   Trout Lake training venue: The concrete building structure and main
        structural steel and glulam erection are complete. Roof decking is
        underway. Mechanical and electrical work is ongoing.

    -   Killarney training venue: Concrete tilt-up wall panels and main
        structural steel have been erected. Arena roof metal decking is
        one-third complete and roof decking for the lobby is nearly complete.

    -   The Olympic and Paralympic Village Vancouver: Significant progress
        has been made on all building structures. The bridge and related
        approach (to access the site) are substantially complete.

    -   Olympic and Paralympic Village Whistler: The Whistler Village
        townhomes are nearing completion. The bridge and related approaches
        (to access the site) are substantially complete.

    -   Whistler Athletes' Centre: The steel roof erection is complete on the
        High Performance Centre. Construction of the lodge building and
        townhomes is ongoing. Factory fabrication is complete on townhomes,
        and site installation is ongoing.
    

    Report of the Strategic Communications Steering Committee

    The Chair reported on the last meeting of the Strategic Communications
Steering Committee, held on September 12, 2008. Solid progress is being made
on key projects, including VANOC's thematic and ticketing advertising
campaigns, which begin, respectively, at the end of September and the
beginning of October.

    Background:

    The VANOC Board of Directors is made up of 20 members nominated by: the
Canadian Olympic Committee (seven); the Government of Canada (three); the
Province of British Columbia (three); the City of Vancouver (two); the Resort
Municipality of Whistler (two); the Canadian Paralympic Committee (one); a
joint appointment by the Band Councils of the Lil'wat and Squamish Nations
(one); and one member nominated by the other 19 members.
    The Board is scheduled to meet six times per year, and more often at the
call of the Chair as required. The meetings are generally held at the
Vancouver 2010 offices in Vancouver, although they are occasionally hosted by
our Games partners in other locations. The Board's responsibility is to
oversee the conduct of the business of VANOC as it works toward achieving its
Mission, to touch the soul of the nation and inspire the world by creating and
delivering an extraordinary Olympic and Paralympic experience with lasting
legacies.
    As part of its commitment to public transparency and accountability, the
VANOC Board of Directors has made today's agenda, discussion topics and
decisions available to the public on www.vancouver2010.com, subject to
conditions of confidentiality related to personal information and/or
competitively sensitive or privileged information. VANOC is also committed to
hosting media briefings following each Board meeting with the Board Chairman,
the CEO and other director(s) or members of the VANOC senior management team
to elaborate further on matters.

    Next Meeting

    The next meeting of the VANOC Board of Directors is scheduled for
November 19, 2008.

    VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The
2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from
February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the 2010 Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts, Chris Brumwell, Vancouver 2010,
(778) 328-6269; Sebastien Théberge, Vancouver 2010, (778) 328-3261

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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