I was looking with great interest to the economical figures of London Olympic Games and I’ve heard too many times that the British “Olympic Games bet” is not in UK’s favour. I’ve heard how investments went from an estimated £9.3bn to an actual £15bn and how disastrous this is during (I would avoid to say global) economical downturn.
Ever since I’ve seen, a few years ago, the development plans London intended to make for this event, I knew it was a smart move, regardless of the short term outcome. The East side of London was always seen as the underdeveloped part of the city and the opportunity to bring it up in such a short time with only a small percentage of local contribution is a side of the story I see most of the analysts are overlooking. Let’s see some of the figures, as presented by Financial Times:
Some other important figures:
- over £7bn contracts have been awarded to British companies which means workplaces and in the end, money returned into the national economy;
- almost £10m event tickets sold. Needless to say, the cost of the event ticket is a very small fraction of the attendance cost which makes an exponential increase in the overall British income.
I’m looking at the event costs comments and, unfortunately, I see a very narrow “what do I get today” mindset. Let’s take a look further. Let’s say the Olympic Games are over and the actual income did not reach the actual spent.
A smart eye would see the following:
- The East-end of London (Lower Lea Valley near Stratford) now has a brand new 80,000-seater Olympic Stadium for future events.
- 5,000 homes have been built as residence for many families following the conversion of the Olympic Village after the games.
- The transport links to the east of London have been significantly upgraded – £1bn improvement to London East line, extensions to the DLR, 45% capacity increase for the Jubilee line.
- New venues have been built in the East London: Olympic Park stadium (athletics, hosting opening/closing ceremonies), Olympic aquatic centre (swimming and diving events), Olympic velodrome (track cycling), Olympic hockey complex, Olympic multi-sport complex (basketball, handball, volleyball, modern, pentathlon events), Greenwich Peninsula hall 1 & 2 (badminton, gymnastics, table tennis), Broxbourne (canoe slalom), University of East London (water polo facilities), Olympic tennis complex.
All these are resources to bring more events than hosted at the 2012 Olympic Games in the future. London has built up in East London a money-making Olympic machine. Not for today but for future generations as well. Need I say more?