Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Business

Olympic glory - but was it worth it?

Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 - 02:46

Dec.27 - The London 2012 Games got underway when Britain was in the midst of recession and with the official cost to the taxpayer of around 9bn pounds, its coalition government wanted the London Olympics to provide more than world records, were they rewarded? Hayley Platt reports

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

From a sporting point of view it was Britain's most successful Olympics for a century. Team GB won 65 medals and a life time of cherished memories. But at a time of tough austerity was it worth it financially?. London 2012 cost UK tax payers £9bln pounds - that's 360 pounds each. The venues cost the best part of 7 billion pounds to build. And the security alone was more than 550 million. ` Theatres, tourist venues and even hotels also lost money as visitors focussed on the event at the expense of London's other attractions. At a time when the UK is trying to eliminate its structural deficit some say we shouldn't expect too much. David Jones from IG Markets. SOUNDBITE: David Jones, Markets Analyst, IG Markets, saying (English): "There was a study done by the University of Michigan looking at various Olympic events over the decade and none of them has really delivered a significant financial boost. Even the Bank of England came out just a couple of months ago and said we're not factoring in any Olympic effect into our figures looking forward." But the Games did make significant amounts of cash. More than 10,000 athletes visited from 204 countries - along with their support teams, families and friends. And almost 11 million tickets were sold - far more than expected - raising around 660m pounds. 750m came from sponsorship - deals were made with more than 40 companies. And combined with ticket sales that meant London organisers hit their target of raising 2.4bln - the core cost of putting on the world's largest sporting event. The UK government believes the economy will benefit to the tune of 13 billion pounds from the sale of constructions and increased tourism . Justin Urquhart Stewart from Seven Investment Management agrees there were big benefits. SOUNDBITE: Justin Urquhart Stewart, Managing Director, saying (English): "You only have to look back at the gross domestic product figures and it looked as though there was boost there to actually drag it out of its double dip. Then of course there was a slightly softer issues in terms of actual peoples attitudes and tourism and in terms of how some trade improved as well but that was very difficult to try and measure." And then there's the factors you can't put a price on. SOUNDBITE: Justin Urquhart Stewart, Justin, saying (English): "What was fascinating was to evaluate the British attitude before hand which was one of undying cynicism that it's bound to go wrong at some stage and to one afterwards, to 'well we're quite good at doing this' so I think it was a very positive attitude." The full extent of the economic impact from London 2012 may not be known for a decade. But those preparing for Rio can take comfort from the fact that staging an Olympics can create a feel-good-factor no amount of money can buy.

Olympic glory - but was it worth it?

Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 - 02:46

Top News »

Money »

Finding meaning in the S&P 500 2000 mark Finding meaning in the S&P 500 2000 mark

Mon, Aug 25, 2014 - (2:35)

S&P falls back from record high S&P falls back from record high

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (1:35)

S&P 500 closes at new high S&P 500 closes at new high

Thu, Aug 21, 2014 - (1:24)

S&P 500 just shy of record S&P 500 just shy of record

Wed, Aug 20, 2014 - (2:23)

Apple hits $100 a share Apple hits $100 a share

Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - (2:06)

Nasdaq closes at 14-year high Nasdaq closes at 14-year high

Mon, Aug 18, 2014 - (2:23)

Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (2:10)

We've become a promotional culture-RetailMeNot's Bodge We've become a promotional...

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (4:39)

Dow back to positive territory for year Dow back to positive territory for year

Wed, Aug 13, 2014 - (2:18)

The Exchange »

The Exchange: Hot commodity The Exchange: Hot commodity

Wed, Jul 16, 2014 - (9:25)

The Exchange: Constitutional crusade The Exchange: Constitutional crusade

Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - (11:35)

The Exchange: The value of money The Exchange: The value of money

Mon, Jun 02, 2014 - (9:53)

The Exchange: China’s Second Continent The Exchange: China’s Second Continent

Tue, May 27, 2014 - (9:35)

The Exchange: A master of business arts The Exchange: A master of business arts

Thu, May 08, 2014 - (8:24)

The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities

Mon, May 05, 2014 - (8:52)

The Exchange: Let the rocking commence The Exchange: Let the rocking commence

Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - (8:13)

The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies

Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - (9:54)

Is doing good a good business? Is doing good a good business?

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 - (7:38)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)

World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals

Fri, Jun 06, 2014 - (1:08)

VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light

Fri, May 30, 2014 - (1:37)