â†µAs such, London is faced with the task of spending a ton of cash to absolve itself of materialist humiliation. Peter Berlin of the New York Times judges the likelihood Great Britain will blow its wad on magnificent showmanship and architecture. â†µ
â†µâ‡¥The first problem for London is simply one of cash. Estimates for the cost of the Beijing Games, apart from the Beijing organizing committee’s operating budget, start at $40 billion. And that does not account for the difference in labor costs, which are considerably lower in China than they will be in London.â†µI'm no mathlete, but that's a huge disparity. London does have some suitable structures already: the 02 Arena is still shiny, and Wembley Stadium hosted the NFL last year. I imagine decent soccer pitches won't be hard to find. Maybe they can let Michael Phelps and friends swim in the Channel?
â†µâ‡¥Everyone involved with the London Games is clear on their numbers: a $3.7 billion operating budget for the organizing committee; a $17.2 billion budget for building everything. For London, the trap is to avoid being accused of wasting money on a short-lived event, while not being seen as skimping on the Games. â†µ
â†µStill, London's best bet is to hope everyone forgets Beijing's spectacle and remembers China's poor imitation of democracy. The former shouldn't be too hard, considering our anemic attention spans. The latter -- well, forget it; few even acknowledged China's restraints on promised liberty during the Games. We may just have to look forward to the London Olympics as the modest, more ethically sound Games.â†µ
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