Glasgow's 2014 Commonwealth Games A 'Big Deal' Considering $776M Price Tag
Glasgow "looks different today to how it looked like before Glasgow 2014 was born as an entity six years ago, but not in a wholesale way," according to Jonathan Coates of the SCOTSMAN. The improvements "make the city look better and function better." None of the tweaks "is ostentatious, which is indicative of a city that is not getting carried away." There are "no white elephants raising the ire of taxi drivers." The Commonwealth Games "are a big deal, but just how big?" The budget is £472.3M ($776M), which is a lot more than the £18.3M it cost Edinburgh to put on the same event in '86, but a lot less than the £8.92B it cost to stage the 2012 London Olympics. It is estimated that the 2014 Games will reach 1.5 billion people through TV and radio, "which compares well" with the Olympic reach of 4 billion. The potential for economic impact if Glasgow and Scotland take advantage of this opportunity for exposure "is so great that it is not accurately quantifiable." So far, it "has been difficult to identify an aspect of Glasgow’s approach that has been flawed." Glasgow 2014 Organizing Committee CEO David Grevemberg said, "I think Glasgow has done it in a way that is appropriate -- perfect, in fact -- to its context and its growth. The regeneration of the East End has established a really strong foundation of focus and awareness. The things that have been built are both world-class and community-relevant." The 2014 Commonwealth Games will take place over 11 days after the opening ceremony at Celtic Park on July 23. An estimated 6,500 athletes will represent 70 countries in 17 sports, ranging in calories burned from swimming and boxing right down to lawn bowls and shooting. More than 1 million tickets "have been put up for sale online," and the first phase generated more than 2.3 million ticket requests. Of those, 57% came from Scotland, with about 40% from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the other 3% from non-Commonwealth nations (SCOTSMAN, 1/2).