Economics of London Bid Studied
Byline: ROLAND JACKSON Agence France Presse
LONDON, England (AFP) British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday that an entire region of London would be regenerated should it win the 2012 Olympics, but some analysts doubted whether hosting the worlds greatest sporting event would boost the overall economy.
Blair launched a final plea for London to stage the 2012 event against stiff competition from main rival Paris, with just over 24 hours to go until a crunch decision from International Olympic Committee delegates in Singapore.
"Its not just about London as a great city. Its also about regenerating a whole area of London," Blair said, with reference to the impoverished region surrounding Stratford in the east of the capital.
"The distinctive aspect of our bid is the strength of our legacy," he told reporters in Singapore.
Bid organizers say that 2.375 billion pounds (3.504 billion euros, 4.170 billion dollars) has been earmarked to stage the games in London, with hundreds of thousands of jobs created as a result.
But analysts remained uncertain over the economic benefits of London staging the event in seven years.
"Although there are many reasons why a London Olympics would be good for the UK, our analysis finds that the economic benefits would be very small and not worthy of a gold medal," said Paul Dales, author of an Olympics study and economist at Capital Economics.
"Overall hosting the Olympics may boost economic output by around nine billion pounds. …