100,000 MORE REGISTRANTS NEEDED AT WYD, TO AVOID RED INK

Lagging Sign-ups Linked to Sept. 11 and Concerns for Pope's Health

TORONTO, JULY 18, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Media speculation about John Paul II's health, coupled with post-Sept. 11 fears about terrorism, have hurt registrations for World Youth Day and could put the event in the red, its organizers say.

Organizers initially hoped that 350,000 registrants would contribute about $50 million (Canadian) -- just over US $32 million. To date, only 200,000 people have registered.

If 100,000 possible participants fail to register, the deficit could reach $25 million (Canadian).

"WYD's financial objective is to break even," the organizers explained in a statement. "The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), as the main sponsor, is assuming responsibility for any deficit and will receive any surplus."

The highest fee for registration is $250 (Canadian) -- or US $165. It guarantees accommodation, food, transport and participation in all events.

The cost of WYD is about $80 million (Canadian). The majority of expenses are incurred providing direct services to participants: meals, accommodation, transportation and staging.

The rest of the revenue comes from sponsors ($15 million-$16 million Canadian); government loans and subsidies ($4.9 million Canadian); sale of official WYD articles ($2.7 million Canadian), and collections to be taken in Canadian parishes.

The organizers said full details about WYD's revenues and expenses will be provided following the event. 


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