â†µThe biggest issue for London will be how they are able to literally fit the throngs of people from around the world who will descend upon the city for the Games. There is just not enough space in the city limits. â†µâ†µ
â†µThere is actual sentiment that London should put up a giant "No Vacancy" sign during the Olympics, and let people around the world know that the city may just be too darn crowded for the influx of international sports enthusiasts. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, doesn't think that's possible. From an interview with the BBC (link includes video): â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥"We've got to assume that huge numbers of people are going to come to the city, and we've got to make them feel welcome, and we've got to allow them to enjoy themselves, so there's all sorts of things we're preparing." â†µâ†µFirst, London is preparing a viable support staff to deal with the influx in tourism. The city is hoping to procure 7,000 volunteers to help with the 70,000 being recruited by the London Olympic committee. The city will also be holding a series of sponsor-funded concerts – the mayor was quick to admit he's not suggesting they'll be able to afford the Rolling Stones or Elton John, but "it could be anything" – and plan to turn much of the city into a pedestrian partyland. â†µ
â†µâ‡¥"People have got to understand for the 19 days of the Olympic Games, and also to a lesser extent the Paralympics, but mainly the Olympics, it's going to be business-as-unusual. It will not be the same system. People are going to have to expect that London will be the epicenter of fun in the universe and that we're just going to have to make that work." â†µâ†µPer the report, a "substantial amount" of money – the city has been allocated 32 million pounds of the 9.32 billion pound budget to get London ready – will be used to join several areas around the center of town and transform them into an interconnected network of fun and celebration. So what does the mayor have in mind for such a party? â†µ
â†µâ‡¥We think that those will be a fantastic kind of Woodstock, carnival atmosphere. All sorts of entertainment. You know, fire-eaters. People standing around painted silver like robots. You know, the whole kind of thing – hamburgers, ah, good-for-you hamburgers – all sorts of attractions, music, concerts. There will be a party atmosphere in the center of town. â†µâ†µI hope they can get one of the fire-eaters to flame-broil a hamburger – preferably not one of the good-for-you hamburgers – and then have one of the silver-painted robot people eat the hamburger. I bet Elton John would show up for that.â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.