As the countdown clock in Trafalgar Square ticks down, the excitement grows here in London .Yes, the summer of 2012 is going to be a big one. For anyone who has lived under a rock for the last few years, the Olympic and Paralympic games are scheduled to take place in London from 27th July to 12th August 2012. With 205 nations to take part in 300 events at the Games (147 taking part in the Paralympic Games), it’s going to be a festival of culture, colour and goodwill.
Economics of the Olympics
The total budget for the Games and the regeneration of the East London area is estimated to be the tidy sum of £9.345 billion although, then Mayor Ken Livingstone pledged the Games Organising Committee would make a profit.
The government announced in January 2009 that more than 30,000 new jobs will be created between 2009 and 2012. The London Development Agency set out detailed plans that cover a 30-year development period after 2012 for the East London area that has been regenerated. Some of the benefits include 10,000 new homes, in addition to up to 3,000 in the Olympic village; a National Skills Academy for Sports housed in the Olympic stadium, and a hub for creative and technology-based industries. There are also expected to be supply chain opportunities for up to 75,000 businesses across the country to supply goods and services to the Games.
The Olympic Games Impact Study (OGIS) conducted by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2005 assessed the net benefits that would arise from hosting the Olympics in 2012 in London. It compared two scenarios, ‘with’ and ‘without’ the Olympics. It concluded that London’s GDP would increase by £5.9 billion between 2005-2016 if the Games went ahead.
The Opening ceremony of 2012 Summer Olympics will be called ‘The Isles of Wonder’. Oscar Winning director Danny Boyle (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) will be the artistic director for the spectacular opening ceremony. Boyle has said it would not match the jaw-dropping scale and expense of Beijing in 2008 but would aim to repeat the humanity of Sydney in 2000. Further details of the show will be confirmed in April. It is estimated the show will be watched by 80,000 ticket holders, 130 heads of state and an estimated 1 billion global television viewers. No pressure then, Danny.
Events across the capital celebrating the Games will begin to ramp up as we head into the summer. One of the biggest of these celebrations is London Live 2012, taking place at three of London’s most iconic locations: Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square. There will be live coverage of all the medal events on state-of-the-art screens, a variety of entertainment including live music and outdoor arts, plus opportunities to try out Olympic and Paralympic sports.
The anticipation and excitement on the streets of London is almost palpable. And it is growing every day, with that Olympic torch feeling closer and closer with every stretched evening. The Olympics has been one giant undertaking by Londoners and they are not going to flinch under the world’s spotlight.
We can’t wait!