Sports supremo A. de O. Sales has put a US$1 billion price tag on any attempt by Hong Kong to bid for a major multi-sport event like the Asian Games. But the staggering estimate has failed to put off Independent Legislative Councillor Christine Loh Kung-wai, who said it was not beyond the means of the Hong Kong Government. On Thursday, Sales' vice-president Con Conway, said Hong Kong could conceivably bid for the 2006 Asian Games if the Government was willing to spend money and upgrade facilities. But Sales, president of the Amateur Sport Federation and Olympic Committee, remains doubtful about whether or not the Government would make such a commitment based on past experience. 'Around 40 years ago, we approached the Government about hosting the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games and we were rejected,' said Sales. 'It is easy to talk about it and make a bit of noise, but do they realise what it takes to organise such an event? 'What about accommodation? Transport? A proper stadium? We missed the boat with the current Hong Kong Stadium when there was no running track built. 'Unless the Government puts up US$1 billion up front, it is not realistic.' Loh, however, feels it is not beyond the Government's coffers to fund a sizeable chunk, if not the entire cost, of what it takes to successfully bid for, and host, an Asian Games. 'I really feel that it is something that is worthwhile and a viable lobby to take up,' said Loh. 'It seems the Government is able to give money for one-off capital expenditure if it helps the community. The Government spends a lot of money on many things, so something like the Asian Games could be done. 'What should be done is get public opinion on the issue. And if the Government and sporting community can get together, nothing is impossible.' Loh said the programme could be implemented to upgrade existing facilities and even build new venues from scratch to enhance any Hong Kong bid. 'The question that should be asked is whether any upgraded facility or new venue would be a white elephant in the future,' she said. 'Until we look at any plan and see what it has to offer, why should we reject it?' Howard Wells, the former chief executive of the Sports Development Board, said on his departure that Hong Kong should vie for an event like the Asian Games. He said that if the Government expresses a desire to host the Asian Games, it should automatically set into motion the process for improving the territory's sporting facilities. The next Asian Games will be held in 1998 in Bangkok, Thailand, with Pusan, South Korea, one of the candidates for the 2002 Games. Hiroshima, Japan, hosted the 1994 Games.