Venue News & Notes: The Olympic Costs of the Olympics

The cost of putting on the Olympic Games in one of the world’s most expensive cities is soaring. The original estimate for the 2012 Olympic Stadium in London was £282 million when London bid for the games in 2004. The 2007 budget was a bit higher, at £496 million, but the credit crunch and structural changes to the roof have brought that number up to as much as £547 million. However, Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said the budget will not be exceeded.

The cost of the 2012 Olympic stadium could soar to £547 million, almost double the original estimate, the government admitted today. The figures were released today in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s annual report on the £9.3 billion Olympics project, which also states that there are “emerging pressures” on venues for the 2012 games. The original budget for the showpiece venue was £496 million in November 2007; the original estimate in 2004, when London was bidding for the games, was £282 million…

…The Oakland A’s have shifted the focus of where the team wants to build a new $500 million ballpark, now preferring a site in Fremont, CA, near a planned BART station. The new site, in the city’s Warm Springs district, is between the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant — a joint venture of Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Corp. — and Interstate 680. The team had previously centered its efforts on a site in Fremont about two miles to the west near Auto Mall Parkway and Interstate 880…

…Sports-team sponsorships by financial institutions, such as Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., are coming under increased scrutiny by government regulators concerned about how federal bailout funds are spent. Charlotte, NC-based BofA, which signed a $7.5 million-a-year naming-rights deal for the Carolina Panthers football stadium, could feel heat over its sports deals…

…At a meeting of the men’s athletics council on Wednesday, DeLoss Dodds, the University of Texas men’s athletic director, said part of the $27 million south-end-zone construction project at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium will include the replacement of the stadium’s natural-grass field with a synthetic turf, according to the
Austin American-Statesman…

…Miami-Dade County should spend hotel taxes refurbishing its largest convention center before building a $609 million baseball stadium, Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower said Thursday: “We can’t lose sight of what is the engine that brings the money in. Our main industry is tourism.” A stalled expansion of the Miami Beach Convention Center will get more attention in the run-up to next week’s county vote on the stadium-financing plan…

…The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees officially approved what observers have thought for months, and the athletics department announced Tuesday that Bryant-Denny Stadium will be expanded. The physical properties committee voted on the $80.6 million property without any discussion. The committee also approved the revised design and budget for the new Capstone College of Nursing building and authorized the university to award construction contracts to the lowest bidders.

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