With 500 days to go, Olympic Park is on schedule
Tuesday 15 March 2011
the chief executive of London 2012, Paul Deighton, admits that the Olympic Park may look like "a building site" right up to the opening ceremony, but insists there will be no skin-of-the-teeth finish such as Athens experienced in 2004.
With 500 days to go, Deighton says everything is on, or ahead of, schedule – and the Olympic Stadium will actually be handed over to organisers for fitting out as early as August, a full year before the Games.
The remainder of the major Olympic Park venues will have their construction completed by the end of the year, with the Olympic Village handed over to organisers in January.
Deighton said: "The Park may look like a building site right up to the Games, because we will be running test events and the overlay has to go on. But this will really be tweaking. The main build will basically be done by the end of the year and we are planning to take control of the stadium in August, a year out from the Games."
One of Deighton's priorities is to make sure there are "no nasty surprises" in terms of the finances – his task is to put on a stunning Games, yet try to ensure that the costs of running the event do not exceed the organising committee's income.
The sponsorship deals are virtually done – some £700m, £100m more than predicted – the television income from the IOC is fixed and around £500m is expected from tickets.
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