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London 2012 will be 'most expensive Olympic Games ever'

  • @tompeck

The London Olympics will be the most costly Games ever, a study suggests. A report by Oxford University's Said Business School, dealing only with "sport-related costs" and ignoring expensive infrastructure projects, such as those commissioned for the Beijing and Athens Games, puts London's final bill at £8.4bn.

The sum, including security, transport, the opening and closing ceremonies and the construction of venues and the athletes' village, leaves the London Games 101 per cent over its original 2004 budget. The £8.4bn combines public sector subsidies with private funds raised by the London Organising Committee from sponsorship and ticket sales.

The report evaluates the cost of the 2008 Beijing Games, widely believed to be the costliest ever staged, at £3.13bn, much less than the £22bn often quoted. Cheaper labour meant Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium cost about half as much to build as the £500m London has spent on its design.