Are the 2018 70.3 World Championships at risk?

There is heavy irony in this. The World Triathlon Corporation, owns and stages Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races around the world, including the 70.3 World Championships, is owned by WANDA Sports Holding, by their own proclamation, one of the largest sports companies in the world.

Wanda Sports is part of the Wanda Group, it is the world's biggest private property developer. It's Chairman Wang Jianlin, has a Net worth US$30.1 billion (August 2017).

Meanwhile, in Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where they are still recovering from property tax hikes to pay for a stadium for Soccer World Cup, they are now trying to find an additional R200-million, or approx. $15-million USD to resurface the road ready for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships.

In addition to supplying thousands of hours of free labor, in the form of volunteers, now residents are having to choose to divert much needed road funding to support resurfacing a 40Km section of the bike course. The upgrade of the road was one of the conditions the city had to agree to in order to secure the bid to host the world event.

All this, for one of the Worlds largest sports companies, and China's richest person. As much as the race will bring many thousands of visitors to what is a beutiful destination, it surely won't compensate for the diverterted R200-million, and personally, I can't see the predicted 16,000 visitors, at least not foreign vistors which are the one they need to recoup the the cost of staging the event.

Pehaps the Worlds largest private property developer and China's richest man can help out the beleagured residents and tax payers of Nelson Mandela Bay?

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