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Olympic chiefs discussed how the 2012 Games are going to survive the current financial crisis at a key meeting on Wednesday.

The £9.3 billion budget to build the facilities is under intense pressure because of the credit crunch and an Olympic board meeting concentrated on how money can be saved.

I understand the idea of scrapping a £40 million temporary venue near the 02 arena, which BBC London revealed last week, was at the heart of the talks involving Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, London Mayor Boris Johnson, 2012 chairman Lord Coe and British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan.

It is looking increasingly likely that this will be the main cost-cutting measure. Badminton< and rhythmic gymnastics, which were due to take place in the north Greenwich arena, will now be moved to the Wembley Arena.

I mentioned last week that international badminton officials are aware of the possible switch of venue. They are unlikely to stand in the way of it, given that Wembley is set to host the World Championships in 2011.

Any change of venue needs the approval of both the international governing body and of the International Olympic Committee. The main concern about the switch is the travelling time from the Olympic village in east London to Wembley which can take up to an hour.

Gina Miles, USA, Beijing 2008

The board discussed a special review of all costs by accountancy firm KPMG which also involved moving the equestrian events from Greenwich Park and the shooting from Woolwich. There were also doubts expressed about whether to build a temporary venue for basketball at the Olympic Park.

But all three venues are expected to stay in place despite opposition from local residents in Greenwich and from some shooting officials. London 2012 need the 12,000 seats at the basketball stadium because of the popularity of the sport and there are no other venues in London suitable for the sport.

London 2012 chiefs are also looking at cutting the number of apartments in the Olympic Village which is now envisaged at two thirds of the original size because private financing of the project has drained away.

This has already caused concern among team leaders around the world and is likely to more controversial than the badminton switch.

Adrian Warner is BBC London's Olympics correspondent. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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  • 1. At 08:31am on 23 Oct 2008, DarkAuror wrote:

    Quote: "London 2012 need the 12,000 seats at the basketball stadium because of the popularity of the sport and there are no other venues in London suitable for the sport."

    What about the O2 arena where they had the NBA pre-season games and Wembley Arena?

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  • 2. At 09:09am on 23 Oct 2008, darkvalleysboy1978 wrote:

    Well we didn't want the Olympics in the first place anyway (at least everyone OUTSIDE of London) so why not just scrap the whole thing and use the money to help us get out of this current mess?

    Seriously, it is called LONDON 2012 for a reason, because it is in London so please don't patronise us by trying to convince us the UK as a whole will benefit

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  • 3. At 09:14am on 23 Oct 2008, Jordan D wrote:

    At #2: where does Adrian try and suggest anything to do with the UK in the above post? Maybe get of your hobby horse and stop moaning - if you've got a complaint, keep it relevant!

    With regards the shooting - how can it be claimed that the cost is justified - even Manchester when hosting the Commonwealth Games realised that Bisley (some hundreds of miles away) was the best choice of venue, and here LOCOG are complaining about c.25 miles? It can't be the IOC who are complaining - the shooting took place at a similar distance from Athens city centre, and all the sailing is further away too.

    If LOCOG really care about legacy, they'd move the shooting to Bisley, like everyone in the sport wants them to: that'd be the best way to invest in a proper legacy.

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  • 4. At 09:39am on 23 Oct 2008, Ian_the_chopper wrote:

    Post 1, I think you will find that the O2 Arena is already hosting two events including the gymnastics for the Olympics and will also host the finals of the Basketball.

    The temporary arena at the O2 was to complement the main arena and its events.

    The preliminaries for the basketball will be on at similar times to the gymnastics in the main areana so they can't be held there.

    The medal games will be in the O2 for the basketball.

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  • 5. At 10:05am on 23 Oct 2008, RedDeesie wrote:

    How can they reduce the number of competitors appartments.
    Surely the numbers of competitors will not reduce

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  • 6. At 10:23am on 23 Oct 2008, monkmann1 wrote:

    Yes the games will be expensive but lets face it we waste money on loads of other stuff. Why not all get behind it for a change instead of being a nation that moans about people who try hard and succeed and give fame to worthless individuals on reality TV shows.

    As for not benefiting the rest of the country i have to disagree. Tourists will no doubt head to other parts of the UK while they are here. While it is proven activity rates in exercise go up after games so maybe we will see benefits in falling rates of child obesity and therefore there will be less of a strain on the NHS in years to come plus all the other benefits that sport can bring to children and young adults.

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  • 7. At 10:52am on 23 Oct 2008, Vegas wrote:

    I find the comment about the rest of britain not wanting the Olympics rather patronising. who put you in charge of everyone's oppinion outside of London?

    I think you'll find its YOU that doesn't want it.. Everyone else will make up their own minds no doubt...

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  • 8. At 11:06am on 23 Oct 2008, jamminben13 wrote:

    Ref Number 2:

    It's called London 2012 because the Olympics is awarded to a city - not a nation. If organisers try to create a legacy for the rest of the UK, including bits that we wouldn't want the rest of the world to know about, they should be commended not denigrated.

    Stop moaning and enjoy the eyes of the world on Milton Keynes et al.

    To number 5, they make the International athletes share like kids at camp in the old days.

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  • 9. At 11:37am on 23 Oct 2008, chazabear wrote:

    I agree with some of the comments, more so now because of the financial state we find ourselves in.

    The olympics in London are the last thing on peoples minds at the moment - having ajob and being able to support your family have priority.

    I simply don't understand and certainly don't buy into the fact of the cost - why is it costing so much money!!!!!!!!!!!

    London is a huge city arn't there already sufficient facilities? And when the Olympics have come and gone what happens to the "village" dare I mention the millenium dome!

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  • 10. At 12:14pm on 23 Oct 2008, Blue_Phoenix wrote:

    #9 - The village will be getting turned into "affordable" housing. If done right, it will certainly help people struggling to get into the housing market for the first time.

    #2 - Comment #7 summed it up perfectly. I stay in Scotland and cant WAIT for London 2012, and then commenwealth games in Glasgow 2014. I plan to volunteer for both!

    Besides the benefits and legacy is something that will have an initial impact on people in the Stratford area, and people using rail in the London area.

    Long term, if all goes well, we might see an increase in tourism (perfect opportunity for Scotland/Wales/Ireland to market themselves as a place to escape the hectic city centre of London) and an increase in youth taking part in Sport (which would benefit the countries long term health and make us more succesful in future Olympics).

    Like it or not, the Olympics are coming, so energy would be better spent trying to help rather than moan about it.

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  • 11. At 12:37pm on 23 Oct 2008, rapidsportyscot wrote:

    What is it with people in this country. Why can they not enjoy things, why are there constant complaints from everyone. We are going to get the most amazing sporting event in the world, where facilities will be created, countless jobs will be created, tourism will increase significantly. Just because people mention that it will cost £9.3 billion what they forget to tell you is that it will also generate income so the real cost is far less and depending on how far you take the link to be, could actually generate income. But most importantly, lets just enjoy this spectacle that we have the pleasure of hosting, what a great month it will be, just what we need after all the doom and gloom of the credit crunch!!

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  • 12. At 12:48pm on 23 Oct 2008, asbo49 wrote:

    I think its not so much where in the country the games are being hosted but the fact that they are in the UK full stop. I live in South Wales and have no problem with the games being hosted in London. As the UK we should be proud to host the Olympic games as one United Kindom??

    My concern however is the typical and quite frankly embarassing attempt to do it on the cheap as is always the case with Britain as a whole. You only have to look at the Chinese games just witnessed. There we have a country beaming with pride at being able to put on a spectacular display, they looked like they wanted the games and pulled out the stops to make it special. Special it most certainly was.

    Following that would be hard for any country as the next host but sadly it falls on us. So what is our answer? Well, you guessed it, the UK is about to embarass itself on the world stage with another half baked, cut down debacle of a performance that smacks of having no interest at all. (Heathrow Terminal 5 anyone??) Which begs my biggest question. Why did we bother to compete to host the games in the first place. It seems to me it is being treated more as a burden rather than a specatacle now. I am sure the French would have been more than happy to put on a show. Quite frankly I am beginning to wish it WAS being hosted in France. The Beijing games were games to remember, ours, well simply farcical and forgettable.

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  • 13. At 1:03pm on 23 Oct 2008, fragster447 wrote:

    I live outside London and I can't wait for the games.

    The games will be good for the country as a whole so stop this anti-London bias at once.

    It won't hurt to so some downsizing as lets face it Beijing wa stoo big and we don't want a repeat of that.

    Let's get together for a great event, something many people will only see once in their lifetimes.

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  • 14. At 1:04pm on 23 Oct 2008, chazabear wrote:

    Post 10 - please describe"affordable housing" people who can't afford to get on to the property market can't for a reason. Again I refer to the mess we are in now - if you open your eyes it is due to people spending way beyond their means. These houses will not be sold cheap that is a fact.

    Like you I am also a Scot - I am happy that London will host the event and am almost certain they will put on a good show, however I can't help think that the money could be used for other more longer benefitting uses.

    Lastly to say that other parts of the UK will benefit - I hope indeed so but again without sounding completely negative I sincerely doubt it - certainly not to the tune of which London and the SE will. Can bet you the first prices to go up will be internal train and air fairs!

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  • 15. At 1:32pm on 23 Oct 2008, Blue_Phoenix wrote:

    #14 - I am aware of the situation we find ourselves in financially and the "affordable" was in "" as that is exactly how it was described by LOGOC for their games legacy.

    Now whether it will be affordable or not is another matter altogether, and totally dependant on your definition of affordable. Unless the financial situation and housing market does a complete reverse turn, then whoever is in charge of the Olympic Village being turned into flats is going to have a problem.

    They cant set the prices too low or they wont make any money. However too high, and nobody will be able to afford them and then there left with thousands of empty flats.

    We could argue back and forward about the 9.3 billion being better spent elsewhere. I mean just think with that kind of money we could vastly improve health, education and actually build affordable housing in areas that need it.

    But then, sometimes a country needs something huge, like the Olympics, to help stimulate people and growth in other areas.

    I would probably agree with you that the rest of the UK will struggle to see the same benefits as London and SE England. And whilst their benfits are immediate, and physically touchable and seeable every day, I think our benefits will be something less tangible 4-10 years from now.

    (Lets just hope, that the government and the SNP actually use the Glasgow commonwealth games to help benefit Glasgow and Scotland the same way the Olympics will benefit London.)

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  • 16. At 1:54pm on 23 Oct 2008, KeenosAFC wrote:

    Few things:

    1) London subsides the rest of the nation when it comes to benefits, building, etc. I do not really care about a council block going up in Sunderland, but it is still my taxes that will be paying for it. Those that are moaning that the Olympics is for London, yes, you are right, it is manily 'for' London, which is why Londoneers are going to be paying the most towards it.

    2) #9, you said people are worried about jobs and not concerned about the Olympics. Let me flip reverse this on you. The Olympics will create upto 30,000 jobs during construction. So whilst the construction sector is currently struggling, it is only a matter of time until it gets going again. The Olympics couldnt be happening at a better time for the UK, as it will kickstart the economy with jobs and money spent

    3) The Olympics is the best thing to happen to this country sinde 1966. Lets embrace it as a nation rather then constantly sniping. If you do not like it, then do not buy a ticket...

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  • 17. At 2:09pm on 23 Oct 2008, swsquires wrote:

    The Olympics will cost however many billion. However, that money will go to local businesses (such as builders and supply companies), providing jobs at a time when the economy is struggling. Those people will then pay tax and spend the rest. Thus eventually a large percentage of that money ends up back in state coffers. Once you add in the revenues from business profits (hotels, restaurants, etc), which will again be taxed and the numerous other revenue streams (people travelling down on trains into London, driving down and buying heavily taxed petrol, etc) I have a feeling the government may well be the winners at the end of the day.

    Will people in London even see benefits from the Olympics? Those for example living south of the Thames will probably see/use the new facilities about as often as someone living in the north of England. We can argue about money being spent elsewhere, but as far as I'm concerned more than enough money is already being spent elsewhere, just inefficently. For example, putting one child through state school costs more per year than educating them privately.

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  • 18. At 2:51pm on 23 Oct 2008, HotFM1 wrote:

    I can understand the comments made about the olympics here and I can also understand why the organisers are thinking about downsizing the venues. I am a believer in using the resources we already have, wembley area will be just fine I'm sure.
    On the note that people have made on prices going up etc during the olympics, I hope that they use a little common sense and don't overprice the tickets and transport tickets.
    I was in Athens in 2004 and the tickets were reasonably priced and the transport was free around the city providing you had a valid ticket for an event. This made perfect sense to me. C'mon Boris give the transport for free! It made our experience in Athens soo much better and it is still the greatest show on Earth, I cant wait for 2012.

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  • 19. At 3:16pm on 23 Oct 2008, mblmbl wrote:

    The Olympics will be good for this country as it will bring in billions through tourism and an increase in consumer spending.

    Although, not moving the shooting to Bisley seems like a big mistake. It will save millions that can be spent on the village and it will benefit Surrey Heath and the local businesses, eg hotels.

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  • 20. At 3:44pm on 23 Oct 2008, Rob Smiley wrote:

    Has Montreal finished paying for the '76 games yet?

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  • 21. At 4:38pm on 23 Oct 2008, Alliterative hornet wrote:

    People have commented here that the Olympics will bring in money to the country through increased tourism.
    A couple of years ago the BBC covered a report that looked at the financial benefits each Olympic host city accrued.
    It divided the cities into 2 groups.
    There were some cities which received a big boost from hosting the Games as it put them on the map and created an awareness amongst the global public about them.
    The other group consisted of mature destinations with no shortage of visitors from around the world. There was little difference between the number of visitors during the Olympics and the number during the equivalent fortnight during any other year. Visitors with no interest in the Olymics had chosen not to come that year and been replaced by those who'd come to watch the Games, with no nett increase in visitor numbers.

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  • 22. At 10:48am on 24 Oct 2008, pollyowls wrote:

    Adrian,

    As a point of information could you please say where the KPMG review indicated the equestrian, shooting and basketball events should be moved to?
    Thanks

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  • 23. At 1:30pm on 24 Oct 2008, Senseilew2 wrote:

    You know I thought the whole point of the olympics was to compete against the best in the world at various different sporting disciplines, not put on a bit of a show.

    If we come away from 2012 with more medals than we did this year then surely the games will have been a success.

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  • 24. At 10:04pm on 24 Oct 2008, MarktheHorn wrote:

    Trouble is the taxpayers of this country are not happy at the ever increasing costs and feel this country cannot host the Olympics.

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  • 25. At 3:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, fabBexvo wrote:

    #24 that is an absurd generalisation. I can't wait for the Games to come to London!

    I am of the optimistic opinion that London will be able to afford people a great experience, athletes and spectators alike. I believe that the positive effects of hosting the games will, ultimately, far outweigh the negatives. I wish that miserable so-and-so's like some of the above contributors would shut up and get behind the Games as a nation - why are us Brits so depressingly bad at that?

    And I should point out that much of the positive feedback from the Beijing Games was to do with the friendliness, helpfulness and welcoming attitude exhibited by the local people. This costs nothing!

    Come on people, stop complaining and start supporting this once-in-a-lifetime event - ultimately it will be as spectacular and successful as the people of the UK (all of it) wish it to be, so come on!

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  • 26. At 7:37pm on 02 Nov 2008, galinor wrote:

    Oh good grief number 25 "ultimately it will be as spectacular and successful as the people of the UK (all of it) wish it to be, so come on!" Are you from the south East or something. I'm not sure that the people of Manchester or Birmingham all feel that way. Particularly after the Shoddy way their bids were Unsupported by Westminster. Especially Birmingham's. The tories positively campaigned against them. This Olympic games are for London and have nothing to do with the north, midlands, wales or Scotland.

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  • 27. At 9:38pm on 02 Nov 2008, MarktheHorn wrote:

    Maybe because they knew of the costs to the taxpayer?

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  • 28. At 11:30pm on 02 Nov 2008, TomSouthwell wrote:

    People say it won't benefit our country overall. Well I row comperitively and live about 1hr 30 mins from London near Reading and I use the venue Dorney Lake which they will use for the Olympics in 2012. The have plans to upgrade the facilities there and after the Olympics it'l be free to use for any regattas. There is bound to be more cases like this in other sports venues.

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  • 29. At 3:46pm on 06 Nov 2008, handball89 wrote:

    Im am an athlete aspiring to compete at the games and as i read this i wonder why the people of this country can't just get behind the games and support it (maybe you might actualy enjoy it?).

    I understand the arguments against it, and some people raise good points, but isnt it worth it to host the greatest show on earth??

    And #26, living in the North West myself I can tell you that there are a MUCH larger number of people behind the games then you give credit for!

    Lets get behind our nation!!

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  • 30. At 5:56pm on 11 Nov 2008, Adrian Warner wrote:

    Re pollyowls question at #22.
    The review has not been presented to the media but I understand there were suggestions that the cross country equestrian events could be moved to well-known venues such as Badminton or Hickstead. This is unlikely to happen and the eventing and showjumping are both set to stay at Greenwich.
    The review also looked at the possibility of taking the shooting to the National Shooting Centre at Bisley. This is seen as being too far away from the Olympic village, however.
    There was a suggestion that the Wembley Arena could stage the basketball but it is too small. Some 12,000 seats are needed for the preliminary matches -- remember the American Dream Team pull in big crowds. The Arena can house crowds of around 6,000 for sporting events.

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