Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Olympic Bid Win Would Leave Great Legacy, Says Assembly

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Olympic Bid Win Would Leave Great Legacy, Says Assembly

Article excerpt

Byline: ROSS LYDALL;JOE MURPHY;PATRICK HENNESSY

LONDON could secure enormous benefits from a successful bid for the 2012 Olympics, a report reveals today.

It comes as a new ICM poll for the Government will show three-quarters of Britons are behind the bid and a poll by This Is London, in conjunction with the Evening Standard, shows 60 per cent in favour of the bid.

The boost was revealed on the eve of a Commons debate where Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell will declare there is "a very strong sporting case" for hosting the games. British athletes would win more medals and young hopefuls be inspired, she will say. But Ms Jowell will add a strong note of caution, warning sporting interests make up only "20 per cent" of the decision and the economic case must be met.

A bleak report written by her department, however, says the bid will probably fail, according to reports. The unpublished analysis says Paris or New York stand a better chance and estimate the cost to taxpayers of staging the games at pound sterling2.5 billion.

But today's report by the London Assembly says the legacy of playing host - for the first time since 1948 - could be "enormous". It warns that a "fainthearted bid" would do no favours and calls for an Olympic minister to be appointed to co-ordinate efforts and keep them to timetable and budget.

Some nine million spectators and 11,000 athletes would be attracted to the Games, which would cost at least pound sterling1.8 billion to stage.

A crucial factor is how to move large crowds around the capital without causing serious delays to commuters.

On a peak day, 150,000 spectators could be expected to head towards the Olympic zone in east London.

The report earmarks Stratford as the likeliest location for a stadium, aquatics centre and velodrome, while an athletes' Olympic village of up to 4,500 homes would be built either in Stratford or in Bromley-by-Bow. …

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