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A Critical Analysis Olympic Games London 2012

The fact that summer Olympic Games 2012 will be held in London will of cause affect the life of this city, and the whole country. As it will be the third Olympics held in London, so it is not so much new contraction facilities have to be built now. Nevertheless London has great plans as to the improvement of tourism, economics, and infrastructure before the Games. The Olympics will give London the economic, social, cultural, tourism, transport, infrastructure and other legacies.

The London Olympics started to improve the economy making money long before the start of the first competition. Starting from the sale of souvenirs with its logo (for example, the official magnet costs £ 10) and ending with the involvement of sponsors and patrons in the construction of Olympic facilities. There are arranged guided tours around the Olympic park which are of great demand. Moreover, there will be built such an unusual object as ArcelorMittal Orbit (steel tower of 115 meters) which will be not just a symbol of the Olympic Park, but a source of money. According to the business plan, visitors to the tower will contribute annually to the budget of London £ 10 million through the purchase of tickets, meals, souvenirs, and spending on other entertainment (Gold, 2009: 179-196).

Having studied the previous experience, London came to the conclusion that after the Games the Olympic facilities often remain unused and become a burden for local budgets. Therefore, London did everything to minimize financial losses (Macrury, 2008: 2072-2080).

Not all sports facilities built for the Olympics will be preserved after the Games. Some will be demolition within 3 years after the event. There will be left only water park, which will be adjusted to the needs of the region’s population; velodrome, as it is in needed in this part of London; and the main stadium – during the Olympics it will hold 80,000 spectators, and after it will have only 30 000 seats for football matches and other events (Garcia, 2008: 361-363). Moreover, this stadium probably will be rented by football club, thus further operating costs will be passed on to the shoulders of the club. Several huge indoor sports halls are temporary structures. For example, a basketball arena with a capacity of 12 000 fans after the Olympics will be disassembled and, perhaps, built in another place the UK (Davies, 2006: 94-96).

International Press Center that will be a part of Olympic legacy will turn into a number of business centers; perhaps the university will be opened there. Other facilities will be used for shopping malls, business centers, multifunctional complexes, which combine cultural facilities – theaters, exhibitions, etc. The Olympic Village is created as a separate structure, which will then be transferred to the housing.

The Olympic legacy will include construction of over 100 ha: large-scale residential construction, construction of 20 roads and pedestrian bridges, the creation of new transport arteries – branches of Metro, bus and tram lines (Baird, 2011: 8-15). A lot of places are allocated for park areas where people will walk and play sports. It is planned to create 9-10 thousand jobs, including manufacturing plants.

The Olympic Village is designed in such a way that the rooms are like real apartments and after the Games they will be sold. The demand for housing in this area will be increased due to improving the image of the district of Stratford that has been an industrial zone for a long time.

So, one of the main legacies of Olympics will be the project “Stratford City”, located on 73 hectares near the Olympic Park. It will include 500,000 square meters of offices, 150,000 square meters of retail space, 2000 hotel rooms, 4850 apartments, school and medical center. Part of the apartments will be put under the Olympic Village for athletes and sold after the Games. Thanks to the improved transport connections of “Stratford City” with other areas of London and the creation of service infrastructure, “Stratford” should become the new business district, and the expected influx of business activity has the potential to create about 30 000 new jobs in the area after the Olympics ( Ferrett, 2011: 70-73). The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge admitted that the decision to make London the capital of the 2012 Olympics will provide the world not only with an ideal location, but also give rich legacies of the UK, which will remain after the Games (Sadd, 2009: 265-269).

References:

Baird, D., Hendy, C.R., Wong, P.L.F., Jones, R., Sollis, T., Nuttall, H. (2011). Design of the London 2012 Olympic Park Bridges H01 and L01, UK. Structural Engineering International, vol. 21, no. 1, February, pp. 8-15.
Davies, N. (2006). Real data, real learning and the London Olympics. Significance, vol. 3, no. 2, June, pp. 94-96.
Garcia, B. (2008). One hundred years of cultural programming within the Olympic Games (1912-2012): origins, evolution and projections. International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 14, no. 4, November, pp. 361-363.
Gold, J.R. & Gold, M.M. (2009). Future Indefinite? London 2012, the Spectre of Retrenchment and the Challenge of Olympic Sports Legacy. The London Journal, vol. 34, no. 2, July, pp. 179-196.
Ferrett, D., Kirk, M., Davis, I., Williams, R. (2011). Rail Overbridge Replacement in Stratford, London, UK. Structural Engineering International, vol. 21, no. 1, February, pp. 70-73.
Macrury, I. & Poynter, G. (2008). The Regeneration Games: Commodities, Gifts and the Economics of London 2012. The International Journal of the History of Sport, vol. 25, no. 14, December, pp. 2072-2080.
Sadd, D. (2009). What is Event-led Regeneration? Are we Confusing Terminology or Will London 2012 be the First Games to Truly Benefit the Local Existing Population? Event Management, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 265-269.