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Volume 10 No. 22


Construction of London Olympic venues "generated an economic boost" of £7.3B ($11.6B) to the U.K, according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. An independent report commissioned by the government showed that "much of the benefit was felt in London and the south." Accounting organization Grant Thornton said that "the five-year construction period from '07 generated £8.2B ($13B) of gross value added." After "accounting for the displacement of other construction work, that left a net impact of £7.3B" of gross value added. The economic benefit "was most felt in London, the southeast and the east of England, which accounted for £4.8B ($7.6B) of the net gross value added." London-based companies "won 54% of all contracts awarded by the Olympic Delivery Authority" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/13).

Thousands of tickets for some of the London Games’ “most in-demand Olympic events during the summer went unsold,” according to LOCOG figures cited by Jacquelin Magnay of the London TELEGRAPH. Track & field had “more than 2,000 tickets unsold, there were hundreds of tickets left for the opening and closing ceremonies, and even artistic gymnastics, which was declared a sell-out, had 1,230 remaining.” A LOCOG spokesperson said that a “number of the seats were empty to test sight lines or were from early sessions, particularly in the temporary venues.” The organization “hailed the ticketing process as a huge success.” LOCOG said that overall it “failed to sell just 3% representing 263,824 Olympic tickets and 2% representing 55,455 Paralympic tickets.” Ticket sales raised $1.05B of its $3.8B budget. The LOCOG report reveals that “fewer than half of tickets to many prime London 2012 Olympic sports events were sold to UK residents, but LOCOG achieved its stated aim of having 75% of tickets available to the British public because of high local turnout for preliminary events in large stadiums.” But the U.K. percentage of attendance “at some events such as gymnastics, track cycling and swimming, was less than 40% at the final sessions” (TELEGRAPH, 11/13).

COE PRESSED: In London, Owen Gibson reported that former LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe "is set to be warned by London Assembly members that unless he provides a full breakdown of Olympic ticket sales, the public could be left with the impression that those available were skewed toward less popular sports and sessions." The London Assembly will press Coe "for more transparency on its ticketing policy." However, despite LOCOG providing a sport-by-sport breakdown of the percentage of tickets sold to the U.K. public for each Olympic and Paralympic sport, "there is concern among assembly members that the committee has failed to give a full session-by-session breakdown of ticket sales at each price point" (GUARDIAN, 11/13).

Sponsorship deals and record revenues from the sale of almost 11 million tickets "helped London organisers to hit their target" of raising £2.4B ($3.8B) to stage the Olympics and Paralympics, according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton said that the income "covered the core costs of putting on the world's largest sporting event." London organizers raised almost £750M ($1.2B) through domestic sponsorship deals with more than 40 businesses, including oil company BP, British Airways and telecom company BT. That was "almost on a par with the sum reported by Beijing" after it hosted the 2008 Olympics, and almost four times what Athens generated for the 2004 Olympics, the last time the summer Games were in Europe. Ticket revenue "also topped forecasts" at a record £659M ($1.1B) after "near sell-out crowds" for both the Olympics and Paralympics (REUTERS, 11/13).

The Olympic Council of Asia "has promised Cambodia sustained logistical and financial support over the next few years to augment the Kingdom’s sports development resources," according to H S Manjunath of the PHNOM PENH POST. The OCA "will be lining up two new initiatives while extending its ongoing support for the creation of a state-of-the-art Sports Science and Medicine Centre in Phnom Penh, which is expected to be operational by April." The OCA "funded the construction of an Aquatics Centre in Kampot" two years ago. Assurances of backing for the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia "came from none other than OCA President Sheikh Mohammed Al Fahad Al Sabah during a meeting with NOCC President Thong Khon and NOCC Secretary General Vath Chamroeun on the sidelines of 31st OCA General Assembly in Macau," China last week. OCA funding "will also be made available for Cambodia to set up a centre in Siem Reap for women’s sports, a cause the NOCC has championed since '11" (PHNOM PENH POST, 11/13).