Style and polish was the order of the day as Glasgow's bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games was launched against the iconic Kelvingrove backdrop.
The principles of the YOG, first staged in Singapore in 2010, are laudable: conceived to help combat childhood obesity and declining physical education participation. In addition to fostering Olympic Games participation, they also aim to embrace cultural and educational exchange.
The 2005 presentation which won the Olympics for London was that the UK would give the Olympics back to the youth of the world. So it's logical Britain should now be candidates to host the YOG.
The Youth Olympics in Scotland would help deliver an Olympic and Commonwealth legacy which prevailing austerity threatens to undermine. It might help maintain focus on sport and exercise funding which will plunge into a black hole after the Paralympic closing ceremony this year.
EventScotland extol the merits of event tourism, and the government agency has helped bring sport and cultural events worth millions to Scotland. The 150th Open at St Andrews in 2010 delivered economic impact of £47.4m to the Scottish economy according to independent analysis, plus £52.6m of global TV coverage presenting Scotland as "The Home of Golf"; a sport worth £200m to the nation each year. The 2009 Homecoming (another is planned for 2014) was worth £57m, and cost benefit analyses of lesser events demonstrate a record of justified investment.
And yet . . . the lack of budget data in yesterday's press pack was disturbing; not a line about the cost. This prompts concern that the "Olympic City" designation comes at too high a price for Glasgow. There will be no building programme like the Olympic one which has helped sustain London through the economic crisis.
Yet we must not blindly endorse a blank YOG cheque without seeing detailed housekeeping. Singapore's 2010 YOG costs escalated by 1300%; Glasgow 2014 has gone from £288m to £530m and the London Olympics from £2.37bn to £10bn.
The International Olympic Committee told Singapore the inaugural Games would cost them £S30m. They ultimately cost $S387m, some £186m. The organisers claimed it was a sell-out, yet bought up nearly 90,000 tickets to give to children.
Some years after the vote London won to host the Games, it was admitted that, if the deteriorating economic climate had existed in 2005, there would have been no bid. The economy is now significantly worse, yet Glasgow is bidding without any other UK city having mounted a challenge.
The 2014 Commonwealth hosts (17 sports) hope to stage the YOG (28 sports, but with a thinner programme than the full Olympic one). The GB team is unlikely to contain more than half a dozen Scots, hardly conducive to promoting ticket sales. And what will be TV's appetite for unknown sportsmen and women, even if they are the Olympic champions of tomorrow.
Despite such concerns, Paul Bush, chief operating officer of EventScotland, was bullish last night. He gave the assurance that cost will be "£200m at 2018 prices". This seems ridiculously modest, but Bush insists it is "attainable and deliverable . . ."
Budgeted TV income is relatively small. The platform for distribution is not through the TV medium, it's through social media: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, which received seven million hits a day, third biggest in the world, during Singapore 2010.
"The Olympic broadcast company will pay production costs in terms of shipping Glasgow 2018 round the world, which means we'd have no financial responsibility. TV revenue is of no consequence. We have not budgeted for it."
He admits the security discussion – who pays, UK or Scotland? – has yet to be held. Ditto one on apportioning costs, underwritten by the city and Scottish Government.
"But the models around the Youth Games are very different from the Commonwealths or Olympics. There was no perimeter fencing at the Winter YOG in Innsbruck, other than round the athletes' village. The security comes within that £200m."
The Dalmarnock village for 2014 will have been sold off by 2018. "Not a problem," says Bush. "The government and Glasgow are looking at a new regeneration project to deliver the athletes' village."
He admits there is a lot of work to be done "convincing people, before we submit our candidature file. But this is about investing in young people, continuing the journey after 2014. Most multi-sport cities, once they have had a major games, fall off the map, and facilities crumble into wrack and ruin.
"This presents an unbelievable opportunity to preserve facilities and create legacy.
"I can understand the cynics in this economic climate, but this is a chance for sport to stay at the political forefront. Winning this bid will mean governing bodies and young people in sport have a longer- term future than maybe falling off the cliff after 2014.
"We don't need big new venues and facilities. The only likely new venue would be for BMX, and that is on the stocks anyway. Everything else can be catered for in the venues Glasgow has. I believe the numbers add up. This isn't just about sport. It's about investing in young people. Looked at that way, £200m invested in sport is not a lot. Bidding for this event shows huge ambition and aspiration. Glasgow can deliver this event."
I don't doubt that at all. But at what price?