- 22 Oct 08, 06:30 PM
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.
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.
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