Undertakings made to the British Olympic Committee (Supplementary) [12]

Session date: 
October 13, 2004
Question By: 
Damian Hockney
Organisation: 
One London Party
Asked Of: 
London 2012, Mayor, TfL, LDA

Question

Damian Hockney (AM): Elements of this argument, to me, I am sorry to say, appear to be completely weird. Mayor, you mentioned the point that Olympics have broken even or made a profit since Montreal, but the reality is the Greek finance minister only two weeks ago blamed the Greek deficit, in part, upon the losses made at the Olympic Games.

Then Mike (Lee), you made a point just 60 seconds later that the IOC does not want a re-run of Athens. The point about this is it is to do with money. It is to do with the fact that the British people- You also mentioned just now, Mayor, the underwriting by the Government, and people in London are going to pay for that deficit as well. If we end up losing vast amounts on these Olympic Games, then the people in London will also pick up that bill, in addition to the money that they are already not prepared to pay for an Olympic Games.

I just really want to make the point that...

Brian Coleman (Chair): I think you want to ask a question Mr Hockney, do you not?

Damian Hockney (AM): The core to this surely is that these Olympic Games have not been profitable over the last 30 years and that it depends upon the way you cut it, and we do not know the facts. We need to know the facts, and we need to have a referendum, surely, among people in London and get a proper view.

Answer

Answer for Undertakings made to the British Olympic Committee (Supplementary) [12]

Answer for Undertakings made to the British Olympic Committee (Supplementary) [12]

Answered By: 
London 2012, Mayor, TfL, LDA

The Mayor: If you look at the Atlanta Games and the Los Angeles Games, which were effectively wholly private, with no public subsidy, you can have a fairly clear idea of what can go right and what can go wrong. Also, you then look at Athens and Barcelona where city and national governments took a deliberate decision that on the back of the Games, they would transform either their city - in the case of Barcelona - or as in the situation in Athens, a city which is a substantial proportion of the entire country's population.

The striking thing is that everyone in Athens was amazed at the transformation of that city. They have taken a city which was nightmarishly difficult, congested, and polluted, and they have lifted it into the 21st century. It was an incredible transformation. That is not the cost of the Olympic Games. They took the Olympic Games as a driving force. To some extent, we are copying what Barcelona and Athens have done: we are transforming the East End. It is, however, a very small part of London. It is not anything like the ratio to the overall national economy that the situation is in Athens.