Guangzhou tries to auction off Asian Games memorabilia, nobody interested

Posted: 01/31/2011 10:05 am

There’s no doubt that Guangzhou did an excellent job hosting the Asian Games last November. It was one of the biggest events the city has ever hosted, and brought millions of RMB into the local economy. But still… the Asian Games don’t quite have the cache of the Olympic Games. This became painfully obvious when the Guangzhou Asian Games tried to auction off several items used during the competition. Guess how many people put in a bid? One. According to an article in the Global Times:

Over 1 million items including furniture, home appliances, bedding, vehicles and office supplies used in last November’s Games were auctioned as a package Saturday morning on the Guangzhou Asian Games website, the Guangzhou Daily reported.

However, at the end of the 18-minute auction, only one bidder emerged to make an offer of 16 million yuan ($2.4 million), which was much lower than the reserve price of 30 million yuan($4.5 million), resulting in no deal being made, the report said.

The bidder surnamed Zhong told the Guangzhou Daily that if he had won the auction, he would have used the assets as part of the investment for a block of student apartments.

Huang Xiaojian, a deputy chairman of the China Association of Auctioneers, told the Global Times 30 million yuan was too high a reserve price for the assets. Another reason for the failure was that the online auction was too short.

“At the same time, some items that were used by athletes are not suitable for ordinary people to use. For example, some beds used by the athletes might be too long for most people,” Huang added.

Sure, maybe the beds might be too long, and that’s why only one person decided to throw some money down. Or it could be that, well, owning office supplies used in the Asian Games just isn’t all that big of a deal. In comparison, as the article notes, items auctioned off after the Beijing Olympics drew intense interest and raised RMB 189 million. So the money is there, and the interest in sports is there, but it’s clear that those willing to shell out big dollars for sports memorabilia only want the best.

The question is…. now that nobody wanted to buy the items from the Guangzhou Asian Games, what happens to them now?