250 days left until Baku kicks off the official opening of the World’s First European Olympic Games to be held in Azerbaijan in June 2015.
The main organizing body behind the event (also known as Baku 2015) is Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC). Although the authorities do not reveal the total budget allocated for the event, UK based publication Business New Europe (BNE.eu) recently revealed the event is costing Azerbaijan some $8bn while promising to be “the most spectacular show in Azerbaijan’s history”.
Azerbaijan has earned a reputation of being the big spender on such events. In 2012, the country hosted the Eurovision song contest, putting on the most expensive show in the history of Eurovision. In total, $75.7million was allocated for the organizing of the contest. The real costs varied between $277mn and $721mn. Surely Azerbaijan had to put on a best show, better than the $44million Eurovision contest held in Moscow in 2009. But even the 700 million seem dismal when comparing the upcoming games says BEGOC’s Chief Operating Officer Simon Clegg. “This is going to be the most fantastic show ever staged in Azerbaijan, one that will make the Eurovision song contest seem like a small, local event”.
European Games are first of its kind. Azerbaijan was awarded the right to host the games in December 2012 at the 41st EPC General Assembly in Rome. BEGOC’s Chief Executive Officer is Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan’s Minister currently in charge of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
According to most recent data by the country’s State Statistical Committee as of October 1, 2014, the average salary in Azerbaijan is 441.1AZN.