It’s uncertain whether the European University Games will take place during the summer of 2014. The proceeding of the event is reconsidered because of financial risks.
The proceeding of the prestigious project – meant to mark the end of the anniversary year of the university – is uncertain, while still a full year ahead now. The organizing activities of the University Games are half a year behind schedule, and from an analysis of the risks followed that the balance between the revenues and costs might be disappointing. The budget plan created when the EU Games were brought in towards the end of 2011 was not realistic enough, and in the meantime a new budgetary plan has been made. Since October, the organizing committee is waiting for a ‘go’ from the Erasmus University. The board of EUR will make a final decision today as to whether organizing activities will be ceased. In this scenario, it is highly unlikely that the event will take place eventually.
Daniel Sikkens, president of 2nd European Universities Games 2014 foundation, explains: “We have a balanced budget containing an sufficient buffer, but the risk analysis leaves uncertainty. At some posts one could have doubts. For example, a certain sum of sponsorship has to be raised. If we end up with less participants than expected we lose money there.” The organization estimates 2500 people to participate at the moment, one of the measures to cut costs. Upon the announcement of the event, the amount of participants was estimated at 4000.
“All events bring risk with them”, says Hans den Oudendammer, director of Rotterdam Topsport and member of the advisory council of the EU Games. “Fitting the budget is the problem. The Erasmus University indicated that it doesn’t want to pay for a deficit.” This would make the foundation fully responsible for fitting a potential financial gap. Still, Den Oudendammer has faith in the situation to end well: “There’s still a full year ahead. We support the event to come.”
The EU Games is meant to become the largest European sports event for students. Last summer, the event was organized for the first time, in Cordoba. More than 2500 participants from 151 universities took part which made it a huge success. In the summer of 2014, the EU Games should mark the end of the anniversary year of the university. TF