London 2012: Olympics legacy hard to define
How much will the Olympics be worth?
Over the last week or so there has been a variety of forecasts trying to assess the economic boost London and the UK will get from staging the Games.
This always happens before every major sporting event and it should come as no surprise that the Prime Minister David Cameron should want to try and offset the argument about the costs of the Games by talking up the benefits.
He claimed last week the number would be £13bn, outweighing the public sector funding package of £9.3bn. Incidentally according to the very latest figures, it looks like coming in at just under £9bn.
It all sounds very impressive. Until you start to look at the numbers more closely.
Much of it is aspirational rather than definitive. While the PM says he is "confident", there can't be any certainty that these figures will actually be achieved.
The analysis was done by economists at the department for UK Trade and Industry (UKTI). Here's how they account for the majority of the £13bn:
*£1bn from UK business conferences to be held during the Games
*£6bn of foreign direct investment after 2012
*£4bn of opportunities for British businesses from Embassy summits after the Games
*£2.3bn from tourism generated by tourists coming to the UK between 2011 and 2015
UKTI says it has looked at past Olympic hosts and come up with the numbers based on the methods they always use when assessing the impact of government business conferences and summits.
The Olympic Park in Stratford is primed for the opening ceremony which is less than two weeks away.
The Government is planning to use the Games to try to showcase British business and will host a huge networking conference centre at Lancaster House.
The hope is that with so many business leaders and sponsors in town for the Games, British business will secure a big windfall.
Others seem less certain. Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State responsible for the Olympics, says the PM had set the country a target but that it couldn't be banked quite yet.
Meanwhile John Armitt, the chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, has done his own study on the economic legacy and says: "You will never know the scale of those benefits."
Economists at investment bank Goldman Sachs seem to agree with him, refusing to put a number on the potential uplift from the Olympics.
All of which is not to say there won't be benefits. There are bound to be.
It's simply that the case for the Olympics delivering a huge boost to the host's economy is far from proven and we should be cautious of those who claim so definitively that it does.
With the Olympi-shambles over security still rumbling on, it is probably worth reflecting that there are organisers and officials I have spoken to who believe the deployment of more members of the military in venues is a good thing.
Judging by G4S's failure to hire and train the 10,400 staff they had promised to deliver, there were concerns about the level of quality.
"We would rather have the armed forces involved than G4S scrape the bottom of the barrel," one source told me.
One knock-on effect from the deployment of more members of the military has been felt by the organisers of the London Olympic marathons.
The company which stages the hugely popular London Marathon each April traditionally use the armed forces as stewards to line the 26-mile route.
They assumed the same thing would happen during the Games - except they found out with a month to go that the military being needed by London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog) elsewhere there wasn't enough to go around.
With such a lot of road to cover and fans free to turn up and watch without tickets, another private firm (not G4S) has been recruited to provide the 600 stewards required.
Up to 30,000 more Olympic tickets are likely to go on sale to the public in the coming days after Locog's short break partner Thomas Cook returned a large batch of unsold seats -including some for the most sought after events.
The lower-end tickets and hotel deals have sold well but some of the more expensive packages have not. Thomas Cook's website was today offering deals for the best tickets to the opening ceremony plus a five-star hotel for an eye-watering £5999.
Unable to shift those types of high end tickets, they have now been returned to the Locog system.
Worryingly ticket holders were sent an email by Locog yesterday telling them to expect a very important message. Failure to read it could result in you missing your event, it warned. Almost 24 hours later however, nothing has arrived. What could have been so