NOVEMBER 25th 2006
and that Logo...and achieving the heritage...
and so on....
THE ONE BIG PROBLEM WITH HAVING THE GAMES IN LONDON IS THAT WE WOULD
HAVE TO SHUT DOWN 50% OF THE NORMAL BUSINESS AND NON-GAMES-RELATED
ACTIVITIES WHILE THE GAMES ARE ON, BECAUSE LONDON'S STREETS AND
TRANSPORT SYSTEM ARE OVERLOADED ANYWAY WITHOUT THE GAMES.
THAT WILL CERTAINLY WIPE OUT THE ECONOMIC GAINS FROM THE GAMES TOURISM
Thank goodness they had the sense eventually to put John Armitt in
charge of delivering the Olympic Games venues at Stratford
but they can't expect him to sort out the whole of London Transport as
We will be ready on time.
The decision to bid for the Olympic Games was based on the following
a margin of error added on top. However, now that the bid
has been won there is no reason why, if costs rise due to market
forces, that the operation should be abandoned unless the cost-benefit
assessment becomes negative. This is extremely unlikely even if the
cost should treble. The cost rises that have now been identified do not
affect the cost-benefit unless, for example, the rise in the cost of
steel is such that a replacement material for steel can and should be
used, and this cost includes redesign and acquisition of replacement
materials and builders. The VAT is another question altogether.
developments that will be of long term benefit by tapping
into short term dynamics.The only concern is, therefore, to ensure that
these increased costs are shared and borne by those in the UK
population who can afford them. Even though the underprivileged and
poorest will benefit, the investment must be made on their behalf and
not at their cost. It is therefore inappropriate that international
treaties should prevent the government from assisting financially if
costs rise. It is appropriate that a green tax (such as on aviation
fuel) should be used rather than lottery money which unfortunately
comes from those least able to afford it. The Olympic movement
generates a lot of air travel, so that makes it even more appropriate.
- Britain is part of the Olympic movement and not about to resign
- Our country is as capable as most others in the bidding of
carrying out the job and better suited than some due to English being a
commonly spoken language. Our country is also home to many races able
to assist in organisation of the games and the associated hospitality
of those who do not speak English.
- The cost of the games would be commensurate with that in other
countries, with an approximate balance of advantages and disadvantages.*
- It is a good moment to bid for hosting the Games in London, as a
very considerable update and refit of the capital and its facilities is
due, as well as development in the area chosen for some central
facilities for the Games. Combining this construction with hosting the
Games would be a financial advantage, particularly from the balance of
payments angle, which is significant..
- We need to encourage more exercise and sport in those of the
general public who lead an excessively sedentary life at work..
- It is therefore highly unlikely that there would be a more
suitable moment for London to host the Games
FEBRUARY 23 2007
It is now clear that a great many
difficulties applicable to the site to be developed, as well as costs
of materials now in world demand, will mean that the cost of these
games are going to be exceptionally high. This does not mean they
should be abandoned, but it does mean that a high standard must be set
for the quality of work and its long term viability.
London Olympics could cost £9bn
The cost of the 2012 London Olympics
could rise to nearly four times
the figure set out in the city's bid for the Games, the BBC has
| By Mihir Bose
BBC sports editor
The Treasury and the
Department for Culture, Media and Sport are discussing a price of
- up from the £2.35bn set out in London's bid document.
The government believes construction
alone could cost £3.3bn, with an extra £2bn allocated as a
Regeneration costs of £1.8bn and
a £1bn VAT bill have also been added.
Security costs have also risen to at least £900m.
In the wake of heavy criticism of the government's handling of the
games, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell admitted to parliament in
November that the cost of the Games would rise by £900m - 40% -
But critics have continued to express wide-ranging
concerns about planning, over everything from transport to the burden
on the tax payer and effect on the National Lottery's funding of good
causes in order to meet costs.
The Treasury's insistence on how the budget is drawn up is thought
to have considerably added to the costs of the games.
It is understood it now insisting a 60% contingency should be to be
added to the construction cost.
But this figure has been resisted both by the Mayor of London Ken
Livingstone and also the DCMS.
Both of them would like a much lower contingency, a view that
appears to have support from CLM, the Delivery Partners.
A variety of other factors are also at play.
These include rise in commodity prices, adjustments to transport
figures to reflect 2012 prices and a revised estimate for inflation on
The land in the east end of London chosen for the site
also needs decontamination and major remedial work before it can be fit
for the games.
The Treasury has also decided that the Olympic Development
Authority will have to pay VAT.
While VAT is in effect paid to the Treasury, the cash initially
still has to be found before it is reclaimed.
In spite of all this confusion, the cost of the Olympic park has only
risen from 2.4 to 3.1 billion.
The 'budget' is for a great deal more other, necessary improvements
which in most other EU countries would have been done decades ago.
Olympics budget rises to £9.3bn
The budget for the 2012 London Olympics has risen to £9.35bn,
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has told MPs.
The revised budget is nearly four times the £2.4bn estimate
when London's bid succeeded less than two years ago.
Construction costs are now estimated at £5.3bn, there is a
"contingency fund", plus an £840m tax bill and £600m more
The Tories said she had lost control of costs and attacked her
decision to take a further £675m from lottery funds.
THE NEW BUDGET
£3.1bn: Site construction
£1.7bn: Regeneration and infrastructure
£2.7bn: Programme contingency
£840m: ODA tax bill
£600m: Extra security
£390m: Non-ODA provision
The £5.3bn budget for the Olympic Delivery Authority was made
£3.1bn to build the Olympic Park and venues, £1.7bn for
and infrastructure and a £500m contingency allowance.
She said the contingency fund of £2.7bn which would only be
drawn upon in "very tight conditions".
Another £600m had been allocated for "wider security" outside
and £390m for other costs including the Paralympics and community
'Huge financial gain'
The government's contribution has risen to £6m, she said - the
will be met from London's council tax payers and the National Lottery.
Ms Jowell responded to criticism of taking more from
lottery good causes by saying the Lottery would benefit from profit
sharing based on rises in land values in the Olympic park area.
| The budget for which the
government is responsible has nearly trebled
since the Olympic Bill left Parliament under a year ago
"London 2012 will bring huge financial gain to the whole country ...
and it is only fair that the Lottery good causes should share in any
such windfall," she told MPs.
"I am determined to ensure that this temporary
diversion from the existing good causes to the Olympic good cause is
done with the least possible disruption."
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has also pledged to
contribute an extra £300m, she said - but the money would not be
from London's council tax, nor higher transport fares.
Winning the Olympics had brought an extra £7bn of private
investment to one of the most deprived areas in Europe, Ms Jowell said.
"The announcement today means it's full steam ahead for 2012," she
But for the Conservatives, the shadow Olympics minister Hugh
said: "If you add together all the separate parts, the budget for which
the government is responsible has nearly trebled since the Olympic Bill
left Parliament under a year ago.
| Properly managed, the 2012
Games will bring huge and lasting benefits to all parts of the country
Don Foster MP
"In raiding the Lottery for a further £675m to make up the
the government will penalise precisely the clubs and small
organisations, up and down the country, that were supposed to benefit
from the Olympics."
For the Lib Dems, Don Foster MP said: "Properly
managed, the 2012 Games will bring huge and lasting benefits to all
parts of the country.
"But sadly today's statement and the chaos that has
surrounded the last 12 months and more, calls into question the
government's ability to provide that proper management."
He said the plans to take more money from the National Lottery
equated to a cut of £1m to every constituency in the country.
THE OLYMPIC LOGO DEBATE
what background.it is. Before criticising it, try
to design one yourself!
can quite understand that it would not appeal to a lot of people. I
have not liked other work produced by Wolff Ollins. However I can see
how they got to this design and the only mystery is why it cost
£400,000. On second thoughts perhaps not. In order to override
all objections with compelling authority the logo has to come from an
established company which can fight off Ken Livingston and others. On
the other hand the epileptic problem is something they really should
have known about. On second thoughts perhaps they did. Maybe that
£400,000 pays for more marketing knowledge than we give credit
for. After all, the logo does not have to flash....
London Olympics 'need iron hand'
The London Olympics project must be
managed with an "iron hand" if
it is to meet its deadline, MPs have warned.
Concerns that "strong arrangements" for
keeping track of progress,
limiting risk are not yet in place, were voiced by the public accounts
MPs said the Games' cost had at first
been underestimated and
private sector funding "seriously overestimated".
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said
preparations were "on track"
and she would keep an "iron grip" on finances.
The committee said progress had been made "on a number of areas"
particularly on the crucial project to relocate power lines underground
on the Olympic Park site.
And the Olympic Delivery Authority had appointed a
"delivery partner" to make sure the Games came in on time and on
budget, it noted.
But it said "strong progress and risk management arrangements are
essential, but are not yet in place".
The report pointed out a "plethora of bodies" were involved and said
the Department of Culture, Media and Sport needed an agreed plan "of
what needs to be decided, when and by whom".
And it warned that the "immovable deadline" of 27 July
2012, left organisers vulnerable - as they may end up having to pay
contractors more, or accepting lower standards, to get the job
| It is worrying...that strong
arrangements for monitoring progress and managing risk are so far not
It recommended "incentive arrangements" with contractors to deliver
quickly, to cost and to the right quality.
The report also criticised the omission of tax, contingency fund and
security from the original estimates for the budget - which stood at
£2.4bn in 2005 but is now put at £9.35bn. A further report
from the National Audit Office on the budget.
The government had been "far too optimistic" about private sector
funding, says the committee's Tory chairman Edward Leigh.
The committee also criticised a "lack of clarity" about how five
will be used after the Games, saying plans should be finalised.
Mr Leigh said: "If the London Olympic and Paralympic Games are to be
the great success we all want them to be, then the risks to delivery
will have to be managed with an iron hand.
"The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is
ultimately responsible for coordinating the array of bodies involved.
It is worrying, therefore, that strong arrangements for monitoring
progress and managing risk are so far not in place. "
For the Lib Dems, Don Foster said: "This report
highlights a number of serious problems, such as the failure by the
government to get its figures right to start with.
He added: "It is a major concern that proper monitoring and risk
management are still not in place."
Preparations 'on track'
But Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said "much progress" had been
since the committee's inquiry, including a re-appraisal of costs and an
outside expert appointed to head up the Olympic Executive with "decades
of experience in controlling costs".
In June the chairman of the International Olympic
Committee praised the 2012 preparations as "on time and on track" and
said they would prove to be a model for future host cities.
Ms Jowell added: "I will continue to keep an iron grip on the
budget and will not hesitate to intervene to keep costs down."
She added organisers had put in place "the most rigorous
procedures" and asked the National Audit Office to help monitor costs.
time running out for Olympic legacy?
| By June Woolerton
In areas of east
London destined to benefit from
the legacy of the 2012
Olympic games there are concerns that time is running out for the
regeneration plans to be finalised if they are to yield the hoped-for
When London bid for the
2012 Olympic Games the organisers promised the event wouldn't just
bring the greatest sporting show on earth to the capital.
They also pledged it would be a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to regenerate one of the poorest parts of the city - the
The five London boroughs hosting the Games want, and
need, help. In Tower Hamlets, for instance, unemployment is double the
national average. There is also a lot of pressure on housing.
Young people 'fearful'
In Hackney, some youth workers have expressed increasing worries
about violence on the streets.
Paul Unsworth from Frampton Road Baptist Church Youth Club says
many teenagers just do not feel safe any more.
"Young people in this area feel very threatened if they move outside
their own area and out of their own estate because there's different
gangs that are around in different areas."
| We need to see those final
details like the type of housing, the
kind of green space, the type of leisure facilities
The government has put
aside £1.7bn for
regeneration in the East End.
New jobs, new homes, better transport and better sporting facilities
are among the promises. But some experts are warning there is not
enough detail in the plans.
For instance, the plans allow for the creation of 9,000 new
homes. Of these, 50% are to be at affordable prices. But it has still
not been decided where these homes are going or how many in which
And that could mean the chance to change the area is
ultimately lost, according to Dr Iain McRury who wrote a report on
regeneration for the London Assembly.
"There's a crucial
window of opportunity in the next six months to a year when those final
parts of the plan upon which good legacy depends will be decided and
"We need to see those final little details like the type of
housing, the kind of green space, the type of leisure facilities."
Alison Nimmo, the director of regeneration for the Olympic Delivery
Authority, says the Games organisers are trying to take on board what
local people want.
"We've worked very hard out on the street in east
London talking to people, particularly young people, about what their
priorities are and we've had a tremendous response and that's really
been embedded in a lot of our plans."
But the consultation process is complicated by the
sheer number of people, organisations and authorities affected by the
Olympics development. And many feel the plans are still quite generic.
Some groups even say that, rather than benefiting from the Games,
they are actually losing out.
Johnny Walker from the Hackney and Leyton Sunday League says his
will lose about 11 of their pitches on Hackney Marshes as car parks are
built for the Games.
He is worried that poorer facilities will create more problems for
an amateur sport which is already struggling.
"I think it's affecting us at a very bad time when grassroots
is under a lot of pressure and it's not surviving very well. There's
lots of football leagues going to the wall, especially Sunday morning
leagues and I'm worried we'll be put in danger."
There are still five years to go until the Games, and
organisers stress that the East End will benefit from 30 years-worth of
regeneration between now and 2012.
But Dr Iain McRury says time is running out if the East End is
going to change for the better.
"The people of east London have learned not to get their hopes up
high because sometimes big projects deliver, sometimes they don't and
we're hoping that the Olympics doesn't fail because if it does fail it
will be failing the people of east London."
5live Report: Olympic Promises is broadcast in two parts at
1130 GMT on Sunday 18 November within the Rachel Burden programme or
via podcast from the Five Live Report website.
DECEMBER 11th 2007
Olympics budget 'on track'
Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has said
a "thorough assessment of
potential risks" has backed the £9.325bn budget for the games she
outlined in March.
In a written statement to
MPs Ms Jowell said "months of careful scrutiny have confirmed" the
budget - four times the original estimate - would be enough.
She said: "The project has high levels
of public support and is on
The statement came as the BBC learned
a report to ministers said
there was a 20% chance the budget would rise again.
| Now we look ahead to what will
be a dramatic 2008, with the first building work starting on the
Olympic Park site
HOW 2012 ESTIMATES HAVE CHANGED
2003: Consultants Arup put total cost of
building and staging the Games at £1.796bn
2003: Tessa Jowell launches bid in May
telling MPs it will cost £2.375bn - including a 50% contingency
2005: Bid succeeds in July with
"prudent" estimate of preparing for games of £2.4bn
2006: Tessa Jowell says Olympic Park
costs up to £3.3bn
2007: Olympic Park budget now at
£5.3bn - including regeneration and infrastructure
2007: Total budget, including
contingency, security and tax, reaches £9.35bn
| Cost (£m)
| SITE PREPARATION AND
| Enabling works
| Structures, bridges,
| Contribution to Prescott
| Other infrastructure
| Other Olympic Park venues
| Non-Olympic Park venues
| Stratford regional
| Contribution to DLR
| Thorntons Field
| Contribution to North
London line upgrade
| Other capital projects
| Other operating
| OTHER PARKWIDE PROJECTS
| Logistics for site
| Section 106 and master
| Security for park
| OLYMPIC VILLAGE,
PROGRAMME DELIVERY, TAXATION
| IBC/MPC, Olympic Village
| Programme delivery
| Corporation Tax and net
| Remaining contingency
| Max funding
| Source: DCMS
JANUARY 16 2008
Some adjustments here. The actual
budget being 4 times the sum
mentioned to win the bid, this is hardly surprising. In fairness it
must be realised that most of the 300% extra expenditure is stuff not
included in the bid, nor required in order to have won it. It is
development associated with the bid that is considered wothwhile and
possible to do as a result of the Olympic development in the area. In
other words, do it now - using the Olympic project dynamics, or forget
back Olympic funds transfer
MPs have voted to take almost
£1.1bn from the National
Lottery to pay for the 2012 London Olympics.
They approved the measure by a majority
of 348 after Culture
James Purnell promised no more money would be transferred afterwards.
In a Commons debate, he also announced
would change the tax regime for the Games, potentially bringing in
£400m for good causes.
The Tories said there must be "no more
raids" on Lottery-funded
'No black hole'
Mr Purnell said the £9.3bn budget for the Games - nearly four
estimate that helped win the bid in 2005 - was "robust". He dismissed
claims of a £1.1bn "black hole".
The government won the Commons vote by 357 to nine.
The £1.085bn Lottery cash comprises an original allocation of
£410m and an extra £675m.
It will be transferred from the Lottery to the Olympic Lottery
Distribution Fund in 15 instalments from February 2009 to August 2012.
Challenged over the effect of using cash intended for
the arts, sports and charities, Mr Purnell told MPs: "I can confirm
today that there will be no further diversion from the Lottery good
causes to fund the Olympics."
He also insisted the Olympic budget was not dependent on land
sales, stating: "There is no black hole in the Olympic budget."
Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "These concessions are
important but they do not undo the main damage of this afternoon's
measure, which is that it is an extraordinary way to fund a
Olympics budget - to cut budgets for grassroots sport, the very budgets
that could provide the sporting legacy which was the big promise of
Olympic pool costs set to triple
The London 2012 Olympics aquatics
centre is likely to cost nearly
times as much as the £75m originally estimated, BBC London has
A scaled-down version of the
original wave-shaped building, which will be the gateway to the Olympic
park in east London, could cost £215m.
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell sent
the architect "back to the
drawing board" in 2006 because of spiralling costs.
The venue is now due for completion in
2011, two years later than
| Two years late and massively
budget and of course a far cry from the original design
London Assembly member
The wave-shaped roof will now be 14,000 square feet, which is just
over a third of the original 35,000 square feet.
Bob Neill, the Conservative Party's London Assembly Olympics
spokesman said the original bid of £75m was "woefully
He said: "You can't have much confidence in a system where
something is sent back to save costs and ends up tripling it.
"Two years late and massively over budget and of course a far cry
from the original design.
"It's a terrible shame for all those who would have used it to
all those Londoners who were looking forward to swimming there and of
course a big disappointment for all of us who are going to pay for it."
Olympic chiefs said the cost of the venue has been agreed with the
government and would not impact the overall £9.3bn budget for
However, the final cost of the building would not be released until
negotiations with the builders are complete, they said.
Two of the three companies in the running to build the 20,000-seat
arena withdrew from the tendering process in November.
After Eiffel and Hochtief decided against making a bid, Balfour
Beatty was the only contender.
APRIL 30th 2008
In spite of the headline, things could be worse. A lorra people are
criticise rising 2012 costs
Organisers of the London 2012
Olympics have been accused by MPs
being "willing to spend money like water", as costs for the sports
The Culture, Media and
Sport Committee says the budget, which has rocketed from £3.4bn
£9.3bn, has damaged confidence in the Games' management.
The project for an aquatics centre
came under fire after the costs
rose from an estimated £73m in 2004 to £303m.
But the government insists it has
rigid cost control measures in
The committee, whose members are MPs from all parties, commended the
progress made by the London Organising Committee (Locog).
However, the government's funding and planning of the event came in
for heavy criticism.
The MPs expressed "doubts" over whether the organisers would be able
recoup the full £1.8bn they were banking on from the sale of land
property after the event was over.
| The history of the aquatics
shows a risible approach to cost
control and that the Games organisers seem to be willing spend money
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
The priority must now be to keep a lid on the costs and ensure the
final bill comes in "comfortably below" the £9.3bn mark, they
"Although it is not surprising that early assessments
under-estimated the final costs, such a radical revision of cost
estimates has been damaging to confidence in the management of the
overall programme," they said.
"It has also exposed the government and Games
organisers to the charge that the initial bid was kept artificially low
in order to win public support."
The committee said that while the aquatics centre
"might be spectacular and eye-catching", it also appeared "to be
over-designed and will be an expensive way of providing the facilities
for water sports needed during and after the Games".
"In our opinion, the history of the aquatics centre
shows a risible approach to cost control and that the Games organisers
seem to be willing spend money like water."
| We are working tirelessly to
prepare and deliver the best Games
ever - and to maximise benefits across the country up to 2012 and
Department for Culture,
Media and Sport
With more than £3bn built into the overall Games budget to
contingency costs, any request by the organisers for additional funds
would be "a major failure of cost control".
"The priority now should be to keep costs down: the
mark of success in financial management of the Games will be to have
kept expenditure to a level comfortably below the £9.3bn
John Whittingdale, the committee's Tory chairman, said
the National Lottery causes, which lost out as a result of cash being
diverted to the Olympics, should have first call on any unspent
"We expect that the Games should be delivered
comfortably within budget, given that there is a 60% contingency built
in," he said.
The MPs expressed concern over the decision to site
shooting events at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich, against the
wishes of the sport.
They also felt "disheartened" that ministers had so far failed to
provide a nationwide strategy to use the Olympics to promote
participation in sport.
The MPs said it may prove "very difficult" to raise
£100m from the private sector for elite sport, as the government
A spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and
Sport said it was "pleased" the committee had found much to commend in
what has been achieved so far.
But it claimed the committee had "double-counted £500m
of contingency funds", adding that "there is no suggestion of the
£9.3bn being exceeded".
"We are working tirelessly to plan, prepare and deliver
the best Games ever - and to maximise benefits across the country up to
2012 and beyond, which will be spelled out in a detailed Legacy Action
Plan," he said.
"The funding package announced in March 2007 remains
unchanged and robust and we have rigid cost control measures in place,
monitoring progress at every stage of the project."
The spokesman said the overall cost of the venues "has
not significantly altered", with the National Audit Office concluding
that the budget "represented a significant step forward in putting the
Games on a sound financial footing".
Shadow Olympics minister Hugh Robertson added: "The
tragedy of all this is that every penny spent financing cost overruns,
means less money spent on extending the sports opportunities available
to young people."
The one area where there will be the greatest challenge is transport,
and traffic management. London is so vulnerable to the smallest traffic
blockage either above or underground that in my view it would best if
many regualr Londoners went away for the duration and left the place to
the visitors, those directly catering to their touristic and sporting
needs, and the organisers. That way any untoward occurrences can be
with London progress
The International Olympic
Committee's monitoring team has
on the progress London is making for the 2012 Games.
The team, who completed a three-day
visit to the capital on
Thursday, awarded near-perfect marks to London.
IOC co-ordination commission chairman
Denis Oswald said he'd give
London '9.75 out of 10.'
Oswald added: "From what we have seen,
we are very confident we
will have excellent facilities for the Games."
London 2012 organisers marked the end of the visit by announcing
construction has officially started on the Olympic Stadium, three
months ahead of schedule.
Funding has been one area of concern for the 2012
Games as has the fact that work on the Olympic Village is due to start
next month without a contract with the constructors.
But Oswald says that there are no areas that the IOC should be
massively concerned with.
"I have difficulty in finding any area where we have concerns but if
had to mention something which will be challenging it is traffic and
transport," he said.
"There will be additional people coming in to watch the Games and
from one place to another will be a challenge but we know LOCOG (the
London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) has made plans
already and with the quality of people on board we are confident this
will be resolved in a satisfactory manner."
The IOC visited venues including Wembley Stadium on Tuesday and
went on to meet the main London 2012 project leaders.
These include London 2012 chairman Lord Sebastian Coe, Olympics
minister Tessa Jowell, British Olympic Association chairman Colin
Moynihan and ODA chairman John Armitt.
The Commission was also able to meet this week with
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, leader of the opposition David
Cameron, Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster, Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell
and the newly elected Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
"The cross party support for the Games and the
backing from the highest levels of Government in Great Britain is
extremely reassuring," said Oswald
"This strong basis of support for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
will be crucial to London 2012 achieving its objectives."
| We take great encouragement
the Commission's comments
Lord Sebestian Coe
Jowell herself welcomed the IOC report of London's progress.
"I am delighted that the IOC co-ordination commission has recognised
the strong progress we have made in our preparations for the 2012
Games," she said.
"The fact that we marked the start of work early on
the stadium is a tremendous achievement and is a real indication of our
"We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that London hosts
Olympic and Paralympic Games we can all be proud of."
Lord Coe added: "We take great encouragement from the Commission's
comments and the obvious confidence they have in the job we have done
so far - they, after all, are the experts."
London 'has lessons to learn' from Beijing Games
Monday 11th August 2008 at 12:12 AM
The government is working to fill all seats at London's 2012
Games, Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has said.
Jowell, who is in Beijing for the 2008 Games, told the BBC that
London had "lots of lessons to learn".
Officially, the Beijing Games are officially sold out, but there
were empty seats at some early events.
added that she was working with the organising committee there, to help
ensure London did not experience the same problem.
"Clearly our aim is to make sure seats are filled," she said.
If they were not filled "by people who have paid the full price",
they should be filled by schoolchildren she said.
"But there are rules that the International Olympic Committee set
about ticket pricing," Jowell added.
"We have got to look at how we apply those rules in practice to
minimise the serried rows of empty seats."
The minister also said that London's stadium would probably be
scaled down after 2012 Games.
"The Bird's Nest stadium is probably the last iconic Olympics
stadium," she said.
Because its capacity is a bit over 85,000 - in the UK we have an 85,000
seater stadium - more than - and it's our national stadium, Wembley.
don't need another 85,000 seater stadium. You can't, on the one hand,
bemoan the fact that we are not going to have an iconic stadium like
the Bird's Nest and at the same time go on about white elephants being
left behind after the Olympics are over.
is making sure that every single Olympic building has a very clear
legacy purpose and if there isn't legacy need then we will build
temporary venues and take them down at the end."
NOVEMBER 13th 2008
What Tessa Jowell said was: "If we were in the credit crunch then,
would we have bid for the Olympic Games? Probably not." At no
time did she imply that this would have been the right decision, just
that it might have been difficult to explain to the public who do not
understand economics or finance. As for the reasons for the increase in
the Olympic budget, that has been explained in the diary above. It is a
good thing we are holding the Olympics and a very good thing that the
budget has been increased provided it is well spent.
APRIL 26th 2009
London 2012 'on time and budget'
the 2012 London Games are on time and on budget, the International
Olympic Committee (IOC) has said.
IOC inspectors, who
finished a three-day visit to London on Thursday,
said the preparations were "impressive" and unaffected by the
But chairman Denis
Oswald said attention to ticket allocation would avoid empty seats at
checked the "big five" Olympic venues.
These are the Aquatics Centre, Olympic Village, Olympic Stadium, the
Velodrome and the IBC/MPC, a mixture of permanent and temporary
buildings - based in Stratford, east London.
Mr Oswald told a news conference in London: "We can confirm that
London 2012 is on the right track.
"We know the world is going through a difficult time but Locog
Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) had a very strong commercial
policy from the beginning and have been able to secure a high amount of
sponsorship before the crisis came and have reached £0.5bn."
He said inspectors were "deeply impressed" by the progress made in
construction, and said that the stadium, the Olympic Village and the
swimming pool were also impressive.
He also said it was important that the Games' ticketing
policy was given attention so that it did not suffer the same mistake
as Beijing did regarding empty seats.
Locog has raised nearly £500m from the private sector towards
its £2bn budget to stage the Games.
OCTOBER 2nd 2009
Mr Oswald said it was "important" that the Government had put money
into the Olympic Village from the contingency fund so that construction
work was not delayed.
Paul Deighton, Locog chief executive, said there were
no concerns about the use of the contingency and that only a "small
proportion" of it had been used.
He said: "It would be extraordinary if the contingency
funds were not used. It is precisely the purpose that the Chancellor
put it in place."
Mr Oswald said he might now give London marks that are "very close
to 10" for its preparations.
Two items of interest today:
1. The problems that could arise with traffic in London and the current
ideas on how to get round them during the Olympics are now beiong taken
seriously. Neither the Chinese or the Greek solution can be applied in
London, the problems are unique to London.
2. The next Olympic Games after London are to be in Rio de Janeiro. It
is the best choice if we are to continue with the pattern of previous
decades. I guess the idea I supported way back of keeping them in
Athens is a non-starter.
It was never likely that Chicago could win with Rio in the frame. Obama
must have known that, so he was right to turn up (would have been
blamed otherwise) and the presentation by Chicago was low-level
(rightly) and can carry the can for failure. Obama had the good sense
not to push it by doing a 'Blair' and spending days chatting up the
So, all in all, no surprises today.
MAY 28th 2010
Anticipated costs for the 2012 Olympic build and
infrastructure have risen but the project remains on time and budget, a
report has said.
Figures reveal that
expected final costs have gone up by £5m, a report by the Olympic
Delivery Authority said.
FEBRUARY 15th 2011
The London 2012 Olympic
and Paralympic Games are set to be ready on time and within budget, say
the government and Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).
taxpayers' bill for London 2012 is "inherently uncertain", a spending
watchdog has said.
report said while the responsibility for important
costs including Olympic venue security had been resolved, the
contingency fund was down from £2,747m to £974m.
It also said timings were tight for the
handover of the aquatics centre in July and the athletes' village next
All other Olympics projects were likely
to be completed on time, it added.
APRIL 25th 2011
Ticket sales hit the roof
JUNE 7th 2011
More than half
of people who applied for London 2012 Olympic Games tickets did not
receive any in the ballot, BBC London has learnt.
About 1.8m people
applied for the 6.6m public tickets available. About 55% of applicants
There is a second
ballot for the million who were unsuccessful but no tickets remain for
the opening and closing ceremonies or athletics finals.
London 2012 said
those who missed out will have priority in the next ballot.
Olympics correspondent Adrian Warner said the big events had sold out
but added that cheaper events like BMX and archery had also all gone
JULY 4th 2011
Ticket sales have been complicated in some cases due to the very
ambition of the project and the need to use cutting edge processes, but
on the whole it is impressive.
JULY 30th 2011
All indications are that John Armitt has going to succeed in bringing
the Olympic Village and stadiums to completion on time and on budget.
This is not due to accident or luck and not by skimping on the
projects, but knowing what can be done and how it can be done, and by
OCTOBER 6th 2011
London is now ready
to host the Olympic Games, a panel of inspectors has been told.
On their penultimate check-up
before next July's tournament, Boris Johnson told the panel both the
venues and Olympic Park are complete.
The mayor of London also claimed
the city's transport system - the focus of much concern ahead of the
Games - is being transformed.
This visit runs until Friday and
will take in all of the major venues
NOVEMBER 11th 2011
In parallell with the Olympic Games, another East London development of
great importance is moving forward under its own steam, with many
Though Government attention and support is not always popular
The 2012 Olympic Games could overshoot its
£9.3bn budget unless "rigorous action" is taken to curb costs,
the Whitehall spending watchdog has warned.
The National Audit Office said a doubling
estimated security costs meant there was a "real
risk" more taxpayer funding would be needed.
On Monday the government said an extra
£271m was needed for security guards.
JANUARY 9th 2012
A collection of opinions on the significance and importance of the
games, the hopes and fears of a variety of people in the UK and
ARCHIVE IS BELOW
The diaries below remain for reference