Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tough Economic Times Slow Down London Olympics

2016 Olympic Village Renderings

Everyone is feeling the pinch these days.

The Olympics, a strong internationally recognized brand, is not above the global slowdown that is quickly becoming an economic crisis.

The London 2016 Committee is having difficulty raising funds but that fact is not slowing down construction. If that makes any sense.

Turmoil in the world's financial markets is making it difficult to secure private-sector funding for the Olympic Village and media center, Olympic Delivery Authority chairman John Armitt has recently said.

The global credit crunch is making London Olympic Chiefs to revise budgets to build the athlete village as private funding has nearly evaporated or experiencing higher than normal interest rates to finance the project.

As a result, the entire project could become nationalized with British taxpayers guaranteeing at least $9.3 billion.

Armitt said: ''Fundamentally, we originally expected to have quite big sums of private-sector funding for the Olympic Village and for the media centre.

''The consequence of what is happening in the markets means that the availability of funding is more difficult - that is not to say that it is not available but, if it is available, it is available on harsh terms."

These days most everyone is tightening the financial belt and just maybe the Olympic Games should take note and follow suit with the rest of the world.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

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