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How can we afford the Olympic Games?

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Andyvon | 19:47 Sun 31st Oct 2010 | Sport
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I don't see how we can. The recent spending cuts show what a desperate financial condition the UK is in today. Being realistic, there's not going to be an economic reversal that sees the economy and the hopes of the British people return to that of 30 or 40 years ago. The country is broke and it will remain so now that the farming, manufacturing, financial and energy-producing base that made us so wealthy has gone.

How can we afford to host the Olympics in 2012? The games always cost host nations billions and the examples of the Millenium Dome, Wembley Stadium, Scottish Parliament Building etc show that anything here will always be massively over-budget. It can't be argued that the games will bring in revenue from tourism, trade or investment. No Olympic host makes money from the games and most take years to repay the costs. Montreal has only just finished paying for the 1976 games.

Secondly, the UK infrastructure will struggle to cope too. The roads, air and rail systems are inadequate for normal use. What will happen to traffic when the games are on is anyone's guess!

Seeing as the nation and the average individual are losing so much money now, I really think the games should go to a country who can afford them. Possibly the Gulf states, Russia, US or China again etc.

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Thanks for the answers everyone. Plenty of mixed views there and I agree with quite a few.

Is that right Philoctetes? Are they really planning to demolish venues afterwards? It's one thing finding the money or justification to build them, but surely once they are built they should stay. What would replace them? Estates of shoeboxes described as 'luxury apartments' and 'executive homes' with everyone living elbow-to-elbow and no one having a garden.
I thought they'd already gone someone - football team? - lined up to move into the stadium afterwards?
Rectangular blocks of identical housing in the East End, near to a stadium with an undetermined future.

Does that sound like a future "up and coming" area?

Or, in 10 years time, will it have become a ghetto?

I think they are creating a giant sink estate.
football team? - lined up to move into the stadium?

Spurs? (who have got planning plans to expand their own stadium, and have included their new stadium at White Hart Lane in the 2018 World Cup bid)

Or West Ham? (who have recently finished work on the new Bobby Moore Stand at Upton Park, and whose fan base are up in arms at the suggestion of moving away from their natural home turf)

I don't think anyone is lined up to move in !
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They should at least remain after the games as regional facilities. I would like to say national facilities but they would only really be accessible to people in the area.
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I posted at the same time as you Boxtops. It looks like it's the Hammers then. I really hope they don't defray the cost to the parents and their kids coming through the turnstiles. I fear they might.
But Boxy ...

The Olympics are just 21 months away, and there is no firm deal with West Ham.

In less than 2 years time the options are ...

(1) West Ham have upped sticks and moved (unlikely, as they have no idea what they would do with Upton Park)

(2) West Ham have taken over the Olympic Stadium, but not yet moved into it (unlikely, because the cost would cripple them ... especially if they have been relegated, which is a real risk)

(3) The Olympic Stadium is empty, and the tax payer is footing the bill (pretty likely, I think).
I can only report what I read - logic, it ain't.
Part of the problem is the "inspired" decision to build the whole Olympic Village in such an "interesting" area.

(holds back a bit, in case any ABers live in Stratford)
At least it's on the high speed rail link from the coast, to whizz the continental visitors straight to it.
Plus points ...

It will bring work to a relatively neglected area (for a while, at least).

It will provide long term accommodation and facilities for that area.

Minus points ...

The people from that area can't afford to buy the accommodation, or use the facilities.

Nobody else will go there, because of where it is.
The problems with the Olympics should have been foreseen after what happened with the Dome.

The biggest problem with the Dome wasn't that no one had decide what to put in it in 2000, it was that no one had decided what to put in it in 2001.

A second problem was that there was no nationwide survey asking:
1) Would you like to visit the Dome?
2) Would you like to visit the Dome if the only way to get there is on public transport?
That may not be such a problem for the games as the organisers aren't banking on large numbers of out of town day trippers.

We shouldn't have even put in a bid before a London football team had been lined up for the stadium after the games.
I'm not trying to be negative (no, really).

Few people love the Olympics more than me (even though it's annoying that Lacrosse is not played, when some other ball games are).

The Olympics is the greatest sporting event on the planet (apart from the Winter Olympics).

But ...

I'm worrind that the determination to host the Games, having spent so many years preparing the bid, might have clouded the financial vision.

If we cut any corners, the whole event will be devalued.

Beijing was amazing because China threw money at the event ...

... lots and lots and lots of money.

Huuuuuuuge amounts of money.

Can we afford to do that?

I'm not sure.
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I agree with you completely Joggerjayne. I think the Winter Olympics are the best sporting event on the planet. However, if you're not sure whether we can afford the costs and the inevitable 'unforseen costs' we'll hear about afterwards, I am sure about it - we can't!

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