Summer Olympic Games in London – new facilities and opportunities

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Now, when there are just a few days left before the start of the Summer Olympics in London, the capital of Great Britain is already fully ready to receive numerous guests – athletes representing teams from 100 countries, fans and ordinary tourists attracted by the bright spectacle.

The Olympics will begin on July 27 and will last until August 12, athletes will compete in 31 sports, and the number of fans will reach 8 million people – this is how many tickets have been sold, and about 1 million foreign travelers are expected, the rest are Englishmen who have arrived from other cities and themselves Londoners.

It became known back in 2005 that the 2012 Olympics will be held in London. New York, Moscow, Paris, Madrid and London claimed the right to host the Summer Olympic Games. The English capital managed to bypass competitors, as it is the most “experienced” city – the Olympics have already been held here twice: in 1908 and 1948. Of course, a lot has changed since those times and the experience of those Olympics did not help Londoners too much in preparing for the largest sports competitions on the planet, but the city managed to convince the International Olympic Committee by presenting very effective projects for future sports facilities that were developed by Foreign Office Architects.

The British capital had seven years to prepare for the Olympics and the results were very impressive. Future games have already been named the most “green”, and many sports facilities have earned titles of unique and progressive.

Preparation cost

In 2005, immediately after winning the competition for the right to host the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, a committee specially created to prepare for the event said that all work on the construction of sports and infrastructure facilities would cost the country 2.37 billion pounds, then there are over $ 3.5 billion. A very small amount, especially in comparison with the costs of preparing and holding the previous Olympics in Beijing – then the Chinese government spent, according to various sources, from 25 to 42 billion dollars.

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities The most famous sports facility of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing – the construction of the “Bird’s Nest” stadium cost the country $ 423 million

According to representatives of the London committee, they decided not to follow the path of Beijing and not to build too pompous structures, but to focus on the use of environmentally friendly materials and recycled materials, that is, to hold the most “green” and economical Olympics.

Despite such good intentions to save the government budget, the originally announced spending has more than quadrupled over the past seven years to $ 14.5 billion..

Already in 2007, it became clear that it would not be possible to invest in the declared budget, and later on the costs only grew, and most of them fell on the shoulders of taxpayers. So, where were such solid funds spent:

  • the design, construction and security of the Olympic venues cost $ 9.3 billion. At the same time, about 200 buildings had to be demolished to erect new facilities. This expense item has become the most significant and significant;
  • the acquisition of land for the construction of Olympic facilities cost another $ 800 million;
  • labor costs for anti-doping officers, costs associated with strikes by construction workers, salaries of Olympic ambassadors in other countries who took part in the Olympic torch relay, various legal procedures, including disputes over the ownership of a stadium in London, as well as a number of other expenses increased the budget preparation for games for another $ 3.3 billion. The London Olympics will set a new record in the fight against doping – over 6 thousand samples will be taken, and anti-doping officers will meet each winner, except for the happy fans;
  • counter-terrorism measures cost the budget an additional $ 1.1 billion – London has been very careful about ensuring the safety of the participants in the competition and visitors to the city. Such large expenses are due to the fact that the very next day after London was declared the capital of the 2012 Olympic Games, a terrorist attack took place in the city. The authorities fear new terrorist attacks and do not spare funds for security: anti-aircraft systems, which are supposed to provide security from above, were installed in six residential areas of the city, and off the coast of Greenwich, the largest helicopter carrier in Great Britain, Ocean, with marines and rotary-winged vehicles, was raided on board.

As a result, training costs officially reached $ 14.5 billion, but experts believe that this amount may turn out to be much higher. Thus, the renewal of the public transport park and the improvement of the city’s transport system cannot be called an indispensable condition for the successful holding of the Olympic Games, but it was connected precisely with the need to provide transport for all guests of London. According to experts, such expenses reached 9 billion dollars. However, this is just the case when the investments will definitely remain with the city after the end of the games and will benefit all local residents.

In addition, the work of all security services before and during the 2012 Olympics will cost the treasury $ 4.4 billion. Another expense item, albeit not so large, is the development of a logo, symbols, the style of Olympic medals, and so on. But the costs can begin to be counted already from the moment the project is presented to the representatives of the IOC.

That is, we can say that the total cost of preparing and holding the London Olympics reaches $ 27.9 billion, and according to other data, it can reach a maximum of $ 37.7 billion, that is, Beijing London has almost caught up with the amount of expenses. In its review, Saxo Bank calculated that the amount of investment in preparation for the games reached 0.7% of UK GDP.

Olympic facilities

Most of the sports facilities built for the 2012 Olympics will be located in London. They are divided into three main areas:

  • the Olympic, located in the Olympic Park – in the Stratford area, in the Lee River Valley;
  • the river, which runs along the Thames in the eastern part of the city;
  • central, which is located in the west and in the center of the British capital.

More than 75,000 private companies have taken part in the construction of sports facilities and the Olympic Village, located east of London. So, what was the $ 9.3 billion spent on??

Olympic park

The London authorities have very well chosen the location of the Olympic Park – it became a former industrial zone, on which there were unused railways. Thus, instead of an abandoned industrial zone, a cozy, well-equipped territory with a dozen new bridges, walking paths and highways appeared in the city. In the center of the Olympic Park, a huge international station has been built, which will receive high-speed trains and light trains. In addition to sports facilities, the largest shopping center in Europe was also built in the park..

By the way, after the end of the games, the park will cease to be Olympic and will be named after Queen Elizabeth II..

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities Olympic Park in London – a former industrial area

Updating the infrastructure of such a large area cost almost $ 3 billion, and most of the changes will practically not be noticeable to tourists – this is the renewal of transport infrastructure, clearing of territories, landscape design, communications, and so on..

Olympic Stadium

This sports arena, located in the Olympic Park, will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics, as well as athletics competitions. The organizers of the games managed to reduce the costs of building the stadium, the design of which was developed by the Populos architectural bureau. So, for the construction of the structure, a foundation pit was dug, the land from which was used to equip the landscape design of the park – this made it possible to reduce the cost of building materials.

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities Olympic stadium, still without a roof and decorative “wrapper”

In addition, the structure is very light and, if necessary, can be quickly disassembled and transported to another location. However, the authorities have so far decided to leave the stadium after the games in Statford, while the number of seats for fans will be reduced to 25 thousand.

The only decorative part of the stadium is its outer “wrap” made of non-woven polymer ribbons. The arena is equipped with a rainwater collection system, which will meet the needs of the structure for water supply, and the roof material has become secondary raw materials, which made it possible to call the London stadium one of the “greenest” sports facilities on the planet.

Stadium cost – $ 759 million.


The Olympic Velodrome was designed by Hopkins Architects. It is believed that its streamlined structure embodies the idea of ​​speed. The Velodrome is distinguished by maximum functionality, and cable-stayed floors allowed saving on construction.

The cycle track itself was created from Siberian cedar – 53 kilometers of this material were used, and the facade cladding was made of giant thuja. All wood was harvested using the so-called “sustainable” method, with compensatory planting.

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities Streamlined timber-lined velodrome associated with high speeds

Ventilation is completely natural, lighting is also partly provided by a well-thought-out roof structure, there is a rainwater collection system, and the layout of the stands for 6 thousand spectators and acoustics are as convenient as possible for the fans..

After the games are over, the velodrome will become part of London’s Bicycle Park for local fans of this sport.

Velodrome cost – $ 164 million.

Water center

The Aquatics Center, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, led by renowned designer and architect Zaha Hadid, is located at the very entrance to the Olympic Park.

The building immediately attracts attention with an unusual wavy facade; during the games, the structure was equipped with temporary stands located on the sides: now the water center is designed for 17.5 thousand spectators, and after the games their number will decrease to 2.5 thousand. In the future, the center is planned to be used for training professional athletes and London schoolchildren – everyone will be able to swim in its three pools.

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities London Aquatic Center

In the basement of the pools themselves, modular concrete blocks were laid, in addition, following the principles of “green building”, the organizers refused to use PVC, which will be very difficult to recycle in the future. The base of the roof is a steel frame, the undulating shape of which allows for an optimal ventilation system. The roof span is 120 meters, the bottom is sheathed with wood and weighs 3,000 tons. In the future, the side facades, where the temporary stands are currently located, will be glazed.

The cost of the water center is $ 500 million.

Basketball stadium

The basketball stadium, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, has become the largest temporary structure for the 2012 Olympics. It will accommodate 12 thousand spectators.

The frame of the building is made of 1,000 tons of steel, the outside is covered with an original white polymer material with a total area of ​​20,000 square meters. During the Olympics, light shows will be held on the snow-white facade.

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities Temporary basketball stadium in London

After the games are over, the basketball stadium is likely to be taken to Rio de Janeiro, where the next Summer Olympics will take place in 2016. Also, the arena can turn into several ordinary school stadiums. A new residential complex will appear on the site of the basketball court in the future.

The organizers noted that the basketball arena was built faster than the other Olympic facilities due to its simple design, and its cost is significantly lower than that of the water center and the Olympic Stadium..

Arena O2

It belongs to the river part of the Olympic venues and is located on the Greenwich Peninsula, in the southeastern part of the city. The arena is multifunctional, it will be used for competitions in artistic gymnastics, trampoline jumping and the final of basketball competitions, it can accommodate up to 20 thousand spectators.

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities Arena O2

Construction of the O2 Arena, which during the Olympics will be called Greenwich North Arena 1, began back in 2003, that is, before London won the competition for the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

In “everyday life”, the O2 Arena is used for a variety of events – from concerts of rock stars and famous DJs, to film premieres and competitions in darts and hockey.

Cable car across the Thames

A unique phenomenon for London – the cable car across the Thames was built specifically for the start of the Olympics to connect the O2 Arena with the Excel showroom. The cable car is 1 kilometer long, and the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, became its first passenger..

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities Cable car

The cost of the construction of the cable car is $ 68 million, in order to recoup the costs it will be paid – one trip will cost the citizens and guests of London 4.5 pounds sterling, that is, about 7 dollars or 230 rubles.

Wembley Stadium

The new Wembley Stadium, which was erected on the site of the old football field, which had the same name and was built in 1923, also became one of the main venues of the Olympics, although England, as a country of football, has long been in need of updating one of its main sports arenas.

The old stadium was closed for reconstruction back in 2000, when London applied for participation in the competition for the right to host the 2012 Olympics, it was decided not to reconstruct the already obsolete structure, but to completely demolish and build a new stadium, which will host the final of football competitions during Olympic Games.

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities Wembley Stadium

The stadium is already actively used to host FA Cup games, FA Super Cup matches, Football League Trophy and Football League Cup finals, so its stands, designed for 90 thousand fans, will not be empty after the Olympics.

Construction cost of Europe’s second largest stadium – $ 1.246 billion.

It is impossible not to mention the mass of other interesting objects, for example, the already famous Orbit tower of artist Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Belmond. At the top of the 114.5-meter-high structure, there is a restaurant and an observation deck.

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities The Orbit Tower has already become the object of close attention of tourists who want to admire London from above

The Royal Artillery Barracks, which will become the main shooting range of the Olympics, now look very unusual. The “suction cups” that make the building look like an octopus actually act as natural ventilation, and the building itself has been named one of the greenest in the city..

Summer Olympic Games in London - new facilities and opportunities The barracks of the royal riflemen were erected at the end of the 19th century and received a new facade before the Olympics

Several substations were also built to provide the Olympic facilities with electricity, two media centers that could then become fashion centers or art galleries, London museums and parks were renovated, including the famous Hyde Park, which will become the venue for triathlon competitions. as well as stadiums in other cities where football qualifying rounds will take place.

The Olympic Village, which will host 17,000 competitors, after the Olympics will turn into a residential complex of 2,818 apartments, some of which will become social housing. Thus, the authorities plan to turn the Olympic Park into an ordinary residential quarter of the city with its own infrastructure and green zone..

During the construction of the Olympic Village, “green” technologies were also used – recyclable materials were widely used, and a rainwater collection and filtration system appeared on the territory.

Speaking about the 2012 Olympics in London and the high cost of training, one involuntarily suggests a comparison with the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. If the amount of British budget expenditures has already been calculated and officially amounted to $ 14.5 billion, then Russian experts still cannot say for sure how much money from the budget will be spent on preparations for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi..

It is known that Gazprom alone intends to invest over 100 billion rubles, that is, $ 3.08 billion, in the construction of infrastructure facilities in the resort capital. The amount of funding from various sources – local, regional, federal budgets, as well as from the funds of the state corporation “Olympstroy” can reach 950 billion rubles, that is, $ 29.23 billion and this is far from the final amount of investments.

Considering that the Summer Olympic Games are more ambitious and require large investments, and the amount of investments from the Russian budget has already exceeded the costs of Great Britain 2 times, the Winter Olympics in Sochi may turn out to be the most expensive in the history of the movement..

We can only hope that London will recoup its investments, and the 2012 Olympics will not join the ranks of the most unprofitable – the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and the 2004 Games in Athens, which at one time led to the economic crisis in Canada and Greece. By the way, the Moscow Olympics-80 is also recognized as one of the most unprofitable – at a cost of $ 2 billion, it was possible to recoup no more than half.

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