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An Olympic Sized Mess 19 March 2007

Posted by David in Comment.
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We’re now told the Olympics will now cost £8.9 billion to host, that’s £148.33 per man, woman and child in the entire United Kingdom. It will come from a mix of Tessa Jowell hijacked lottery money and “the government” – by which they mean us, since we always foot their bill. As I hate the Olympics – which is the most boring thing on Earth – I feel particularly put out.

It will not benefit London at all. No Olympic games has benefited its host city financially since Los Angelis – and that’s because they used existing facilities and plastered adverts everywhere. Athens cost so much the EU had to bail them out or they’d have broken EU state budget deficit rules. Toronto has only just repaid the debt. The facilities at both Sydney and Athens lay empty – there’s not enough demand for such advanced level facilities in one place.

The talk of ‘regeneration’ is a joke, these buildings have no real purpose – after three weeks it will just start degenerating as no one will be using them. The “new jobs” and “business opportunities” they talk of are also ephemeral, as after the three weeks the demand will be gone – that’s not a future to plan on.

Clive James has a great article on BBC News; “With the money you saved from not building hopelessly specialised facilities for sports more boring than a shopping channel for machine tools, you could actually regenerate an area on purpose instead of just incidentally…”

I predict the Olympics will be nearer my personal estimate of £18bln than the current £8.9bln projection.

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