London 2012 Olympic bid

Olympic bid|2012|Summer
winner = London
runner-up = Paris
shortlisted1 = Madrid
shortlisted2 = Moscow
shortlisted3 = New York City
logo =
fullname = London, United Kingdom
committee = British Olympic Association (BOA)
history = 1908 Summer Olympics
1948 Summer Olympics
result = Defeated Paris in Round 4, 54-50
score = 7.6
notes = Scored poorly in the "Transport concept" and "Government support, legal issues and public opinion" categories, but received a 10 in the "Accommodation" category.

London 2012 was the successful bid for the 2012 Summer Games, to be held in London with most events taking place in Stratford, Newham. The British Olympic Association had been working on the bid since 1997. In December 2000 the report was shown to Government ministers.

Following three failed consecutive United Kingdom (UK) bids (Birmingham in 1992 and Manchester in 1996 and 2000), the decision was made to bid with London, given the clear indication that it was the only city in the UK that had a chance of being selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when put up against other world cities in a competitive bidding process.cite news |url= |title=Rivals for 2012: London |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2005-06-08 |accessdate=2007-03-06] On 6 July 2005 at its 117th Session in Singapore, the IOC awarded the London Bid with the rights to host the Games of the XXX Olympiad. The city beat out the favourite (Paris 2012) on the fourth and final ballot 54 to 50 and will become the first city to host the Games three times.cite news |url= |title=London wins 2012 Olympics |publisher=CNN |date=2005-07-07 |accessdate=2007-03-06]

At the time of the bid, the budget projection was around £2 billion, but more recently, many are saying that the true cost will be around £9 billioncite news |url= |title=Experts debate Games bid benefits |publisher=BBC News |date=2007-03-06 |accessdate=2007-03-07] and involves a major regeneration of the Stratford area of London, as well as improvements to surrounding services and associated venues. Public transport, an aspect of the proposal which scored poorly for the bid, will see numerous improvements, including the London Underground and the new "Olympic Javelin" service.cite web |url= |format=pdf |title=Going for Gold: Transport for London's 2012 Olympic Games |publisher=House of Commons Transport Committee |date=2006-03-14 |accessdate=2007-03-07]

The celebrations were partly silenced the day after the announcement of London's win when the city suffered from a terrorist attack. The 7 July 2005 London bombings shut down the public transport system and killed 52 people, injuring hundreds more. There was no confirmed link between the IOC decision and the attack.cite news |url= |title=IOC support after London attacks |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2005-07-08 |accessdate=2007-03-07]

Following the success of the bid, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) was established to oversee the ongoing development of the games. There have been some alterations since the bid was accepted, including the decision by the IOC to eliminate some sporting eventscite news |url= |publisher=IOC |title=New Olympic Programme in 2012 |date=2005-07-08 |accessdate=2007-03-07] and a new layout for the Olympic Zone, both resulting in some relatively minor changes to the 2012 Summer Olympic venues.

London 2012 bid file

Dates and timing

The London 2012 bid proposed that the Games take place between Friday 27 July 2012 and 12 August 2012.cite news |url= |title= London wins the Race for the Rings |publisher=CBC |date=2004-07-06 |accessdate=2007-03-07] This was chosen to coincide with the best weather and with school holidays, with the theory being that the demands on the facilities in London would be lower when schools and universities were closed. It would also allow younger people the opportunity to attend the events.

porting venues

The 2012 Olympics were planned to use a mixture of newly built venues, existing facilities, and temporary facilities, some of them in well known locations such as Hyde Park and Horse Guards Parade. In the wake of the problems that plagued the Millennium Dome, the intention was that there would be no white elephants after the games. Some of the new facilities would be reused in their Olympic form, while others would be reduced in size and several would be relocated elsewhere in the UK. The plans would contribute to the regeneration of Stratford in east London which would be the site of the Olympic Park, and of the neighbouring Lower Lea Valley.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 must learn from the £1bn Sydney hangover |publisher=Telegraph |date=2007-02-08 |accessdate=2007-03-07]

However this would require the compulsory purchase of some businesses and this caused controversy, with some of the business owners claiming that the compensation offered is inadequate. The purchased buildings would be demolished to make way for Olympic venues and infrastructure improvements.

The majority of venues have been divided into three zones within Greater London: the Olympic Zone, the River Zone and the Central Zone. In addition to these are those venues that, by necessity, are outside the boundaries of Greater London.

The IOC noted that future negotiations were necessary to ensure the use of the Old Trafford and Villa Park football stadiums. The need for compulsory purchase orders was also highlighted as a possible problem for the Olympic Park, but did not expect this to cause any "undue delay to construction schedules".cite news |url= |title= Olympic Park land row rumbles on |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2005-11-04 |accessdate=2007-03-07]

At the time of the bid 60% of the venues and facilities were in place. The remaining venues are proposed to be completed between 2007 and the start of the games. The following are the tentative completion dates for some of the remaining venues: Channel Tunnel/Stratford rail link (2007); Aquatics Centre and London Velopark (2008); East London Line extension (2010); Olympic Stadium and Heathrow's Terminal Five final completion (2011).

Olympic Zone

The Olympic Zone was to encompass all of the facilities within the 500 acre (2 km²) Olympic Park in Stratford. This park was to be developed on existing waste and industrial land, at grid reference gbmappingsmall|TQ379849, and would be just seven minutes by Olympic Javelin train from central London.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Olympic zone |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-01-16 |accessdate=2007-03-07] The park would contain:

* The Olympic Stadium, hosting the track and field athletics events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.
* The Aquatics Centre, hosting diving, swimming, synchronised swimming and water polo.
* The London Velopark, including a 6,000 seat indoor velodrome for track cycling and a 6,000 seat outdoor BMX racing track.
* The Olympic Hockey Centre, with 15,000 and 5,000 seat arenas, hosting the hockey.
* Four indoor arenas (Olympic Park Arenas 1-4), hosting basketball (2), fencing (4), volleyball (1), handball (3), and the fencing and shooting disciplines of the modern pentathlon (2).
* The London Olympic Village, with accommodations for all athletes and accredited officials (some 17,320 beds in total). After the games the village was planned a become a district of the Stratford City development, a multi-billion pound development project on the former railway goods yard to the east of the Olympic Park.
* The Olympic Press and Broadcast Centres.
* A tennis training centre.

River Zone

The River Zone featured five main venues in the Thames Gateway area straddling the River Thames:

* The ExCeL Exhibition Centre, for boxing, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, weightlifting, and wrestling.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: ExCeL Centre |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-11-08 |accessdate=2007-03-07]
* The Millennium Dome and Greenwich Arena, for badminton, basketball, and gymnastics.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Millennium Dome |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-11-08 |accessdate=2007-03-07]
* Greenwich Park, for equestrianism.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Greenwich Park |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-01-16 |accessdate=2007-03-07]
* The Royal Artillery Barracks, for shooting.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Royal Artillery Barracks |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-11-03 |accessdate=2007-03-07]

Central Zone

The Central Zone was formed out of all the remaining venues within Greater London. They are quite widely spread across central and West London:
* The new Wembley Stadium for the football finals.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Wembley |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-01-16 |accessdate=2007-03-07]
* The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon for tennis.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Wimbledon |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-01-16 |accessdate=2007-03-07]
* Lord's Cricket Ground for archery.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Archery |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-01-16 |accessdate=2007-03-07]
* Regent's Park for road cycling.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Regent's Park |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-01-16 |accessdate=2007-03-07] Baseball and softball were also due to be hosted in Regent's Park before if was announced in July 2005 that they would be dropped as Olympic events for the London games.
* Horse Guards Parade for beach volleyball.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Horse Guards Parade |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-01-16 |accessdate=2007-03-07]
* Hyde Park for the triathlon.cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Hyde Park |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-01-16 |accessdate=2007-03-07]

Outside Greater London

Three of the venues would be just outside Greater London:cite news |url= |title= London 2012 venue: Outside London |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2004-11-08 |accessdate=2007-03-07]
* Weald Country Park, Essex for mountain biking
* Broxbourne, Hertfordshire for canoe/kayak slalom
* Dorney Lake, in Buckinghamshire, for rowing and canoe/kayak flatwater.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, in Portland Harbour, Dorset on the south coast of England, would be used for the sailing events. It is around 120 miles (192km) from central London.

The earlier stages of the football competition would be played at football stadia around the country including:
*Hampden Park in Glasgow
*Millennium Stadium in Cardiff
*Old Trafford in Manchester
*St James' Park in Newcastle
*Villa Park in Birmingham
*Windsor Park in Belfast

Olympic Village

The Olympic Village will be located in Lower Lea Valley in East London. The area is currently underdeveloped, and will thus be a well-suited place to construct the village.cite news |title=The 2012 Olympic Games and the environment |url= | |date= |accessdate=2007-03-08] Because the Olympic Village will be located within the Olympic Park, about 75 percent of athletes will be within 15 minutes of their venues at all times; this compact design, according to double Olympic decathlon gold medallist Daley Thompson, will "make [the experience] so much more inspirating [sic] and real." When the games are over, the Village will be converted into new homes and facilities for the local community.cite news |title=London reveals dramatic vision for 2012 |url= |date=2004-11-04 |accessdate=2007-03-08]

Australian construction company Lend Lease Corp Ltd has been chosen to build the Olympic Village. The project will cost £5.3 billion ($13.2 billion)cite news |title=Lend Lease wins bid to build London's Olympic village |url= |date=2007-03-05 |accessdate=2007-03-08 |publisher=The Sydney Morning Herald] and will be constructed in two phases. The first phase, which involves the development of 4,200 residential buildings and other accommodations for the village, will begin in 2008. When the 2012 Olympics are over, the second phase will involve the refurbishment of the Olympic village and construction on another 500,000m² of space to complete the regeneration of Stratford City.cite news |title=Aussie firm to build Olympic village |url= |date=2007-03-06 |accessdate=2007-03-08]

The Olympic Village's accommodations will be the most spacious in Olympic history. Each athlete and official is guaranteed their own bed—over 17,000 beds in total. Each apartment will include internet access and wireless networking and other state-of-the-art technology.cite news |title= The most spacious accommodation in Games history |url= |accessdate=2007-03-08 |publisher=LOCOG]

Transport and infrastructure

Public transport, an aspect of the bid which scored poorly in the IOC's initial evaluation,cite news |url= |title=Coe: 'Time to Engage the London Public' |date=2004-05-19 |accessdate=2007-03-08 |publisher=LondonNet Ltd] was planned to see numerous improvements, including the expansion of the London Underground's East London Line, upgrades to the Docklands Light Railway and the North London Line, and the new "Olympic Javelin" service. It is almost impossible to assess how many of the proposed improvements would have happened in any case. The games were won without a commitment to deliver Crossrail by 2012. This is the largest transport project proposed for London, and it was widely assumed in the early stages of the bidding process that the games could not be won without a guarantee that it would be completed before the games.

The bid envisaged that 80% of athletes would be within 20 minutes of their events and 97% would be within 30 minutes of their events. It was estimated that 80% of spectators would arrive by rail.cite news |url= |title=London plan at-a-glance |publisher=BBC Sport |date=2005-07-05 |accessdate=2007-03-08] Together, all the planned heavy rail, light rail, and underground services (excluding Crossrail) were expected to deliver around 240 trains every hour.cite web |url= |title=Stratford Olympic Park |date=2006-01-25 |accessdate=2007-03-06]

Additionally, there were to be two major park and ride sites off the M25 within 25 minutes of the Olympic Park capable of holding 12,000 cars. For the most part, predictions showed that on event days, 78% of spectators were likely to travel from within London and only 22% from the rest of the UK and Europe. Organizers hoped to use low- or no-emission vehicles to transport Olympic athletes and officials.


As of the time of the bid, projections for the cost of the 2012 Olympics were low. The bid team believed that London could end the Games with a surplus of more than £100 million. The organising committee laid out the following figures:
*£560 million for new venues, including £250 million for the Olympic Stadium.
*£650 million for the Olympic village.
*£1.5 billion to run the Games.
*£200 million on security.

The revenue for the games was also projected:
*£1.5 billion from a special Olympic National Lottery game.
*£625 million from a council tax surcharge of £20 per year for London households.
*£560 million from IOC television and marketing deals.
*£450 million from sponsorship and official suppliers.
*£300 million from ticket sales.
*£250 million from the London Development Agency.
*£60 million from licensing.

While this projection seemed reasonable many were adamant about the actual costs. In early 2007, it was suggested that the actual cost of the games could exceed £9.35bn (US$18.03 billion), well over the bid projection. For comparison, the 2004 games in Athens cost around £7bn (US$13.5 billion) and estimates for the 2008 games in Beijing run between £10bn and £20bn (US$19 billion and US$39 billion).cite news |url= |publisher=BBC News |title=Q&A: Olympics budget increase |date=2007-03-15 |accessdate=2007-03-16]


Approximately 8 million tickets will be available for the 2012 Summer Olympics,cite web|url= |title= Just the ticket |publisher=LOCOG |accessdate=2007-03-11] and the London Organising Committee plans on selling a total of 6.5 million (an 81% sellout).cite news |url= |title= Stunning image of a London Games |publisher=LOCOG |date=2005-02-18 |accessdate=2007-03-11] Tickets should begin to go on sale in 2011 and should remain on sale until the start of the event, depending on availability. With the purchase of a ticket, each person is entitled to free transportation on London's public transport system for that day.

Marketing Director David Magliano has said that 1.5 million tickets will be sold for £15 (US$29). The average ticket price will be £40 (US$77) and 75% of all tickets will cost less than £50 (US$97),cite web |title=London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games |url= |date=September 2006 |accessdate=2007-03-11 |format=pfd] prices that Magliano says are reasonably accessible to almost everyone in Britain. In addition to stadium seats, there would be 20,000 £10 (US$19) tickets for the Olympic Park to watch events on big screens.

Political commitment

To facilitate the Olympics at a governmental level, Cabinet-level Minister for the Olympics Tessa Jowell would be responsible for the games. Also in the Cabinet would be an Olympic Security Committee to coordinate security planning. In addition, the government would create the Olympic Delivery Authority, which would oversee the construction of venues and see that the games are lived out past 2012.

Other details

*A tri-generation plant would supply electricity, heat and chilled water to the Olympic Park using technology which produces 33% lower CO2 emissions than from the electricity grid.
*By 2012 it was estimated that over 135,000 hotel rooms will be available within 50km of the Olympic Park, up from 103,000 presently. 40,330 rooms had been guaranteed at the time of the bid.cite web| title=Report of the IOC Evaluation Commission for the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 2012 |url= |format=pdf |accessdate=2007-03-11]
*For the first-time in any Games live Olympic backdrop presentation facilities would be available to broadcast rights holders via rooftop studios on the main press centre with a direct view of the Olympic Stadium and Park.
*The torch relay would highlight the "Olympic Truce" by passing through the countries of Nobel Peace Prize winners.cite web |title=Olympism and culture |url= |format=pdf |accessdate=2007-03-11]
*The first chairman of the London Olympic Bid was airline executive Barbara Cassani. Charles Allen, Lord Coe and Alan Pascoe were appointed Vice Chairmen in September 2003. Cassani guided the group through the first submission to the IOC, but stepped down in May 2004 in favour of Lord Coe. Coe, himself an Olympic gold medal winning athlete and former Conservative politician, enlisted the support of many current and former British Olympians, including Kelly Holmes, Steve Redgrave, and Daley Thompson.

Planned legacy of the Games

The organising committee paid special attention to the after effects of the games on London, and what they could do to make sure the games left a lasting impression on London and the world. The LOCOG planned out the uses of important stadiums and transportation systems after the games, as well as the social factors of the 2012 legacy.

One of the most prominent of the proposed legacy is the conversion of the Olympic Village into 3,600 apartments, most of them will be affordable housing. Most of Stratford City will be regenerated with the construction of 500,000 more square metres of space.

The committee outlined plans to donate the sports equipment used in the Games to sports clubs and charities in the United Kingdom.cite news |url= |title=How Britain will benefit from the games |date=2005-07-07 |accessdate=2007-03-16 |author=Louth, Nick |publisher=MSN]

ports venues

One of the priorities governing the contents of London's bid was to avoid leaving "white elephants" after the games. In order to be sure that important venues and stadiums do not go to waste, the organising committee has planned what to do with them after the games. All venues that will not have a planned use after the games are over will be build as temporary venues.cite web |url= |title=Legacy of the Games |date=2007-03-08 |accessdate=2007-03-16]

The 80,000 seat Olympic Stadium will be converted into a 25,000 seat multi-purpose venue to be mainly used as an athletics stadium. The Stadium should be come the hub of east London activities when the games end.

The Aquatics Centre after the games will include two 50 m pools, a 25 m diving pool and a fitness centre. They will be able to accommodate elite, development, local club and community users. The venue will allow for 3,500 spectators and would host local, national, and worldwide swimming events.

To connect a variety of cycling and walking trails throughout the Lea Valley, the London Velopark will be transformed into a multi-discipline cycling centre. It will be extended further northwards, with the legacy road cycling circuit straddling the A12 and extending into the old Eton Manor site, where the mountain biking area will be located. [London 2012: [ Demolition work starts on Olympic Park site] 14 December 2006] The transformed stadium will consist of a 3,000 seat velodrome, road track, competition and play BMX tracks, and a mountain biking course for use by all levels of cyclists.

The Olympic Hockey Centre after the games will become a venue providing training and competition facilities for hockey at all levels. It will feature a 5,000 seat arena and a training pitch.

In addition, several of the indoor arenas would be assembled elsewhere in the UK. The construction of the Aquatics Centre and the Velopark was confirmed before London won the Games, so it might be more accurate to call them legacies of the bid rather than of the Games. While the legacy venues would be tailored to London's ongoing needs, some of them would be expensive for that purpose. For example, London will have paid for an 80,000 seat athletics stadium, but will only possess a 25,000 seat stadium.

ocial and economic benefits

At the time of the bid, those involved in British sport were hopeful that there would also be a 2012 legacy of increased commitment to sport in the UK, with the social and health benefits they believe that could bring, but it will be difficult to assess whether or not this really happens. Some commentators have argued that it would be better to invest directly in grass roots sport.

Disability organisations including the Autism Awareness Campaign UK were confident that the Olympic and Paralympic Games would encourage people across the disability spectrum to take up sport.

Other legacy items would include the conversion of the Olympic Village Polyclinic into a lifelong learning centre for the east London community with a nursery and primary and secondary schools, and the conversion of the media and press centre into a creative industries centre for East London. The organisers claimed that 3,000 new permanent jobs would be created, but opponents of the games were concerned that some of the 11,000 existing jobs in the Olympic Zone may be lost.cite news |url=,,8305-1691781,00.html |title=Who needs an Olympic pool when there's no room for a kickabout? |date=2005-07-13 |author=Samuel, Martin |accessdate=2007-03-16 |publisher=The Times] It was also hoped that there will be a wider economic effect from the improvements which the games might make to London's image.


The planned transport legacy for the capital included new bus transit schemes, extensions to existing Underground lines, redevelopments of London Underground stations and upgrades to the trains used. There were also to be many upgrades to National Rail services with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, a new high speed rail link, several new stations and upgrades to stations such as Kings Cross St. Pancras. Please view the Legacy Map in order to see the upgrades to the London Transport network in context.

Opinions of the bid


The Head of the IOC evaluation commission praised the passion behind the London 2012 bid when they visited Stratford and other places in the city. The IOC evaluation commission chair Nawal El Moutawakel speaking at a press conference in London observed: "We could feel it, hear it and see it." She added, "It was in every speech and every word."cite news |url= |title=Olympic inspectors praise Brit passion |author=Smit, Martina |date=2005-02-21 |accessdate=2007-03-16]

2012 was seen as a window of opportunity as observers saw Europe as the destination for the Games. Four of the five finalist cities were from Europe.

Support for the bid topped 70% of the people of the United Kingdom and 68% of the people in London, as shown by an opinion poll commissioned by the IOC. Some of the support can be attributed to the city's "Back the Bid" campaign, which included the slogan on posters that were hung around London in the months leading up to the decision to award the 2012 Games to London. Many disability organisations including the Autism Awareness Campaign UK urged all people with disabilities to back the London 2012 bid.

On 17 June 2005, British Prime Minister Tony Blair reiterated the Government's total commitment to London's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Mr Blair told BBC Five Live that he would be travelling to Singapore with the London delegation to stress the 'complete 100 % support' of politicians from all the major political parties in the country. "The most important thing is to show people that the Government is absolutely behind the bid", said Mr Blair, who travelled to the Far East before returning to chair the 31st G8 summit at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland. The leaders of the opposition parties also attended the meeting and expressed their support of the venture.


Many Londoners have challenged the high cost of the Olympics and the £20 per year council tax rise to fund it as well as the possibility of white elephant sites like the Millennium Dome being left. Additionally there are concerns that unions, including the RMT, will strike near or during the proceedings for bonuses and that construction deadlines will not be met.

Outside of London the success has not been universally welcomed, fearing that the event will divert funding from the rest of the country and that the rest of the United Kingdom will be forced to help fund it, for no benefit. Local business - some extant in this area for over 100 years - have been questioning the package of measures in place to allow them to find new sites when the new Olympic village displaces them.

Comparison has been drawn between the Manchester bid and this one, in terms of the amount of government support, and the overwhelmingly hostile attitude of the London based press to Manchester's bid. Furthermore the cost of travelling and accommodation is set to rise across London which may outprice tourists and leave many events under-attended.

IOC evaluation report

The International Olympic Committee's evaluation report was generally very positive. It scored poorly on the transportation and public/government support aspects of the evaluation, but received a 10 in accommodations.

London has proposed Games based on providing world-class facilities and services for the athletes, and a legacy for sport and the community. Whilst the Olympic Park would undoubtedly leave a strong sporting and environmental legacy for London, the magnitude of the project, including the planned upgrade and expansion of transport infrastructure, would require careful planning to ensure all facilities and rehabilitation projects were completed on time. Air quality in London at proposed Games-time is generally satisfactory. Increasing levels of ozone pollution are however a concern, but legislation and actions now in place are aimed at correcting that trend. With its rich history, the capacities of UK Paralympic Sport are among the best in the world. Athletes have been closely involved in the planning of the Olympic Village. The east side of the village would appear to be somewhat crowded.


External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Newham Olympics site]

Publications and information

* [ IOC page about the London 2012 bid]
* [ London 2012 Candidate City] - Exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
* [ Impact of 2012 London Olympics on Property Markets] - Report by GVA Grimley LLP
* [ IOC Evaluation Commission Report] (PDF file)
*cite press release | publisher=London 2012 | date=September 11, 2003 | title=London appoints vice-chairmen | url=
* [ Morris Conferencing] Morris conferencing is a platform for successful and economical search for official conference venues.


* [ "Why London won the Olympics" (BBC)]
*" [ London's green Olympic blueprint] " at BBC News, 24 October 2005
* []

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