ACOG officials today will give the IOC executive board a report on the status of the '96 games. Many delegates and IOC officials have expressed their pleasure with the city's effort during their week-long stay. IOC Director General Francois Carrard: "Things are getting into place and we are quite impressed by the excellent work done" (Athelia Knight, WASHINGTON POST, 12/16). Swaziland Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association president David Sikhulumi Sibandze says his impressions of ACOG's preparation have been "wonderful": "It's as if they are ready to hold the Games next July instead of in 1996" (Ben Brown, USA TODAY, 12/16). MONEY QUESTIONS: ACOG President and CEO Billy Payne "insisted" he and organizers know where 90% of the $1.6B tab for the games will come from. Payne: "We have to raise the other 10% and we will" (Ben Brown, USA TODAY, 12/16). DROP ANCHOR? International Yacht Racing Union President Paul Henderson is optimistic Savannah will remain the site for Yachting events. Henderson toured the proposed site Thursday with IOC officials and will present a proposal to ACOG tomorrow (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/16). OPENING THEMES: Payne said a draft of the initial plans for the opening ceremony has it split into three thematic parts: an introduction to the South and Atlanta, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Games, and youth cooperation and friendship (WASHINGTON POST, 12/16). SOCCER FINAL ON TV: FIFA has approved an ACOG Plan to move up the starting time of the men's soccer final to accommodate NBC. The game will start at 3:30pm on August 3, allowing a full 90-minute match plus overtime to fit into NBC's daytime slot. Soccer was shown in portions in Barcelona, but a full game has never been shown to U.S. audiences (Doug Cress, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/16).
The operating costs of the '98 Winter Games in Nagano are likely to rise, said the Nagano Winter Olympic Games Organizing Commitee (NAOC). Original estimates put the cost at 760B Yen (approx. $7.6B). NAOC Secretary General Makoto Kobayashi said his group has "no intention" of depending on the government for support: "While we at the NAOC got off to a good start in television deal negotiations, we will have a lot of work cut out for us in our marketing activities (to meet the cost increase)." CBS signed a $375M deal to televise the games last June (KYODO NEWS SERVICE, 12/16).