Friday July 27, 2012. A date that will be forever associated with the day the Olympic Games returned to London for the first time since 1948.
Seven years after winning the bid to host the games, London announced itself to the watching world by producing a truly spectacular and majestic opening ceremony, magnificently choreographed by English film director and producer Danny Boyle.
A global audience of billions were treated to one of the greatest pyrotechnic shows on earth ahead of the biggest and most iconic sporting event the planet has to offer.
The reviews have been rave. The opening ceremony was executed to synchronised perfection with Boyle orchestrating an event that paid tribute to Britain’s past, present and future; the ups, the downs and the damn right bizarre. If you weren’t fixated to the television during the three-hour long sequence, consider yourself in the minority.
But have you ever stopped to think how much the Olympic Games actually cost? How much did it take to put Boyle’s vision into practice?
Well, according to a report, the Olympic Games cost a staggering £24bn – more than double the official budget for the event which totals at £9.3bn. The number is yet more astounding when you consider the Games were originally projected to cost just £2.37bn.
The opening ceremony itself was believed to have cost £41m. A figure that makes you think the show was less groundbreaking but merely representative of value.
However, it’s the final bill of £24bn that is surely a point of concern to the British public. With country still firmly in the midst of a recession, is the potential of more debt collection healthy prospect?
Perhaps, we’re overstating the cost. After all, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has promised that the Olympic Games will bring an unprecedented economic boost to the country.
In a statement, Johnson said the Games would ensure a “major economic boost to the capital”. But London – and the United Kingdom – should take note that eight years ago another European country made similar claims. In 2004, when the Games were hosted in Athens, Greek officials underestimated the total cost and overestimated the potential economic benefits – the devastating results acted as a catalyst for the country’s current financial plight.
Conversely, it has been proved that hosting major international sporting events can boost the morale, satisfaction and well-being of a nation. However, this type of research often takes into account the short-term effects of an event. More pressingly, a longer-term economic downturn will only dampen the mood.
While the immediate benefits of hosting a major international sporting event are entirely transparent, the real legacy is less so. Johnson has guaranteed a lasting benefit from the Games for residents but Greece’s debt recovery should tell us all we need to know about promises.
An experienced and talented copy-writer, Matthew Wood writes SEO savvy content for a collection of online publications and web projects. Matthew’s latest work involves writing creative and engaging content on the subjects of Fast Cash Loans and Payday Loans for the established online brand Ferratum.