LONDON – Despite reports of mounting Olympic costs, London’s residents said they see enough benefits to offset the expense.
Mark Daily of Horsham, UK said that the games will not only help the economy, but benefit the people of the country.
“It can be argued that people could spend their money on something better, but on what exactly?,” he asked. “You really just have to look around you. Look at people’s faces. They are loving every single minute of it.”
Even though a recent study said morale would not improve much in the British workplace, Daily said the Olympics could jump start spending.
“You want to get the economy moving and get people feeling better about themselves,” he said. “It is a lift that people need.”
Even business owners who have had to shut down for parts of the Olympics due to massive crowds and busy streets still believe they will make a profit from the Games.
“Because of all the hype we have been busy. Things have picked up,” said Jose Codaba of Dorking. “In general things have picked up in the last couple of months.”
Games directors have said that many of the venues will remain as sites for other athletic events in the future to help revitalize the east side of London. For example, the Olympic stadium, the Aquatic Centre, the Handball Arena, the Hockey Centre and the Velodrome will all stay after the games to promote athletics and recreation in London.
“It is worth it because a lot of corporate investment is going on here. This has become so popular,” said Bill Weursfuld of Surrey. “People from Europe will want to visit the UK to see where this is all happening and where it happened and we have had such a huge television audience it will create a lot of tourism.”
Seven years ago, when London was chosen, the government promised a budget that was much smaller than the current budget of 9.3 billion pounds (roughly 14.6 billion American dollars). This number is about four times the initial budget projection of 2.4 billion pounds and much of the late additions have come for games security. However, now projections show that the games may come in slightly under the latest budget.
Concerns have risen with a turbulent European economy that the London Games could eventually hurt the British economy. The 2004 Games in Athens, Greece are still being paid off and are considered one of the reasons that Greece was sent into such financial problems.