Under Its Olympic Budget, The British Government Will Focus On Crowd Management
The British Government will increase the budget for handling millions of Olympic visitors in London by almost 50% "after the Jubilee celebrations prompted a reassessment of crowd projections," according to Paul Kelso of the London TELEGRAPH. Olympic organisers will spend an extra £19M ($29.5M) on additional stewards, barriers, intelligence gathering as well as building and widening temporary pedestrian bridges "at transport pinch points" in Hyde Park and Greenwich Park. The total budget for crowd management in public spaces and the "last mile" between transport hubs and Olympic venues has risen from £50M ($77.1M) to £76M ($118M) (TELEGRAPH, 6/13).
MONEY TO SPEND: REUTERS' Keith Weir reports that Britain has nearly £500M ($777M) "left unspent" in its Olympic budget. Public funding for the Games has increased to £9.3B ($14.5B), "more than double the figure anticipated" when London was awarded them in '05. Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said, "We are becoming increasingly certain that we can deliver these Games for under £9B and if we could do that, that would be a remarkable achievement." (REUTERS, 6/13).
NUMBERS TELL THE STORY: The London GUARDIAN's Data Blog extracted the costs from the latest report on the costs of the Games and added them to a Google Spreadsheet. The numbers show the security for the park was "the item most under budget" -- at £10M ($15.5M) less than expected in '11. Conversely, the bridges and highways cost £12M ($18.7M) more than expected in '11 (GUARDIAN, 6/13).