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Is it too late to let Paris have the games?

Costs soar for London Olympics - Newspaper Edition - Times Online

Until now the cost of staging the Games has been put at £2.375 billion, with an additional £1 billion of government money for regeneration of the Lea Valley area. That will rise by at least another £1.5 billion and possibly £2 billion.

It's government project - what do you think the final bill will be - I would bet north of £10 billion - and for what?

No gold for those who were hosts in the past - Newspaper Edition - Times Online
THE Olympics will bring no lasting benefit to British tourism and may cause damage to the industry, according to a report released yesterday.
Nations that have previously hosted the Games have suffered declines in tourism growth in the years surrounding the event, the study from the European Tour Operators Association shows.

It claims that visitors at Olympic events are “sports fans”, with different spending habits from other tourists who devote much of their trip to leisure activities. The behaviour of Olympics attendees was “akin to business visitors attending a convention”, making them unlikely to spend money on visiting museums, theatres and monuments.

Theme park owners in Los Angeles saw a decline in revenue during the 1984 Games, while in Sydney in 2000, regular attractions also experienced a downturn, the study claims.

Tom Jenkins, the executive director of the association, said that the Olympics could threaten the “conveyor belt” of visitors coming to Britain. “The great rolling circus that hits town during the Olympics does not help tourism and perhaps hinders it. The Olympics deter regular tourists, scaring them away for some time, as they perceive that the city will be full, overpriced and congested.”

The association said that this “Olympic effect” was also apparent in the Games at Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta (1996). Full details for Athens, which staged the 2004 Olympics, are not yet available, but the association said that one month before the Games visitor arrivals to Greece were 12 per cent down.

London is the last place I'm going anytime around the Olympics - and I would advise you to stay away as well.

We need Great Britain football team, says Blair - Newspaper Edition - Times Online

London’s victory came with a pledge by Lord Coe, the bid chairman, that the London Games would bring participation and interest in Olympic sport back to young people. A year later, there has been limited evidence of this, although Mr Blair said he hoped that this would change.

“When I was at school, you could play sport every day and many of us did,” he said. “It was a great thing to be able to do. I’d like the opportunity for kids to be able to play sport.”

In the two most recent Olympics, half of Team GB’s medal winners have been athletes educated at private schools. Mr Blair said that he hoped that British medal winners could be more representative, “but it requires us to build the facilities and encourage sport in schools. I think sport is a major, major thing. It declined over a long period of time and we’ve got to build it back up again.”

And the fact you have been selling off school playing fields to your mates at Tesco is unconnected? And the ethos against competitive games, everyone must be a winner, has no effect? So you think wasting billions dahn the East End is going to help? Tosser.


Comments

I think the total bill will be well north of 30Bn let alone 10Bn. There is contamination to clean up, an electricity, gas and notably water infrastructure to put in place. There is the transport infrastructure as well. The lead time for all of these is usually 10-15 years and doing it quicker is going to be very expensive.

Given the figures published by the Olympic Development Agency and Thames Water unless Thames greatly exceed their current performance on leaks then to supply the Olympics with sufficient water will mean the rest of London will be under the most severe drought condition i.e. standpipes only on for a few hours per day.

I noticed a throw-away comment by Tony B a couple of days to the effect that the yank who wants to put a casino in the dome is an integral part of London's Olympic Plans. WTF - why are my taxes going to make a verminous s*** like him even richer. It is London's Olympics - spend the money in London or the UK. How does giving wads of Londoners (and the UK’s) council tax and general taxation to foreigners bring 'massive benefits to the UK".

I was living in Atlanta during the '96 Olympics. While it is true that the 'Games' themselves are about as interesting as watching the proverbial paint dry on the wall, I must admit that hosting the Olympics was of great benefit to Atlanta. Number one, the city was not well known to people outside of the US, nor to many within. The Olympics were an opportunity to showcase the city, mostly for future investment purposes. (Obviously, London is already well showcased.)

However, those in charge of the Atlanta Olympics did something rather clever, which was to market the hell out of the event, turning virtually every aspect that they could into a money-making venture. This was done to such an extent that that shrivelled old bloodsucker, Juan Antonio Samarich, was disheartened by the besmirching of his heretofore unsullied pet project. What horseshit! The IOC are a bunch of well-know pimps who roll into town like the Mafia hitting Vegas. Purity, my ass.

In my opinion, the ONLY consideration from the point of view of Atlanta's city fathers (there's a phrase you don't see too often anymore) was to demonstrate that Atlanta could turn EVEN the Olympics into a cash machine, and that the city was shrewd and crass enough to view it in exactly that light.

Ten years down the road, there has been a huge investment in real estate development, and the city is (marginally) more urbane and interesting than it was before, though still not a place I would recommend to anyone as a vacation destination. My advise to Londoners: unleash your vulgar capitalist instincts. The world - exempting a few worn out pimps from the Mediterrain - will love you for it.

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