UK SPORT, a major funder of the cost-benefit analysis report into a possible London bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, welcomed today’s publication of the key findings.
The report, prepared by Arup, concludes that bidding for and staging the Olympics would result in an overall cashflow position of between plus £82 million and minus £145 million, with the capital and staging costs of hosting the world’s largest sports event balanced by the wider economic, social, sporting and cultural benefits.
The Government now has until the New Year to consider whether or not to support a bid.
John Scott, Director of International Relations and Major Events at UK Sport – the organisation responsible for supporting the staging of world class events in the UK – says that the report concludes that Britain is capable of delivering a successful Games.
"If Britain is truly serious about sport, then the Olympic Games is an event we should aspire to host," explained Scott, a member of the Stakeholders Group that commissioned the report.
"UK Sport’s overall goal is for the UK to be one of the world’s top five sporting nations by 2012 – securing the Olympics would be a major factor in achieving this aim.
"Though the report does say that the Games may not guarantee a financial profit, the primary reason for staging the Olympics should always be the potential sporting, cultural, and social legacy the Games can bring to the country, which is often much harder to quantify.
"Staging the Games is a unique opportunity to regenerate a vast area of east London, leaving behind a network of world class sports facilities and a greatly enhanced transport infrastructure. Added to the increased tourism to the UK during and after the Games, not to mention the improved performances by British athletes competing in front of a home crowd, it is clear that the benefits of hosting the Games are indeed enormous."
Scott went on to say that hosting the Olympics would give London the chance to reverse the city’s international reputation.
"Whilst London is one of the world’s great cities, it does suffer from some negative international perceptions. If one adds the international publicity given to certain high profile ventures such as Wembley and the Millennium Dome, there is also a view that Britain is incapable of delivering major projects.
"But the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the numerous World and European Championships staged in the UK each year with the assistance of UK Sport’s World Class Events Programme are gradually changing those perceptions.
"The Olympic Games would be the perfect way for the UK to signal its intent as a sporting power, showcasing London to the rest of the world as a city of the 21st Century."