Costs to stage Olympics in London soaring
November 28, 2006 (WLS) -- London's Olympic plans for 2012 may give us an idea of what Chicago may experience if the city hosts the games in 2016. London planners originally predicted the games would cost $4 billion. Now, some say the cost will be three times that amount.
It seems leaders of every city that has hosted the games have promised to deliver the Olympics on-time and on-budget, but few have succeeded. London still has six years -- but already the games are creating a strain on the city.
A-year-and-half after London won the right to host the 2012 Games, the celebration is giving way to the cold-hard fact that the games bring with them costs of Olympic proportion.
"I completely reject this pessimistic view that it's all terrible -- this is a waste of money and we're not going to get anything out of it," said Tessa Jowell, British Culture Secretary.
In recent days, Londoners have learned the cost of their Olympic Park has risen by more than one-and-a-half billion dollars. Some taxpayers and lottery players may end up footing part of the bill.
"Well they're building everything new, that's why. They're building everything new and we're not building everything new," said Daley.
Mayor Daley promises no tax dollars will go directly into his Olympic dream but Chicago does have a rich history of cost over-runs on high-profile projects.
Millennium Park started with a $150-million price tag. It wound-up costing $475 million and opened well after the new millennium began.
On Monday, Mayor Daley's team modernizing O'Hare revealed that project is $400-million over budget.
But Daley -- who toured London last month -- insists the Chicago Olympics will be different. He vows to avoid the costly temptation to squeeze several decades' worth of wish-list projects into the Olympic build-up.
"Atlanta had to rebuild their city. Athens had to rebuild their city. That's completely different. Basically we have the infrastructure already," said Daley.
During the Mayor's trip to the UK last month -- we asked several Londoners whether they believe -- in the end -- the Olympics are worth the cost and frustration.
"I think it's going to be a nightmare -- the building and everything is going to be a nightmare but hopefully in the end it'll be worth it," said one London resident.
"Well in the long-term it'll benefit us all won't it? Bring a lot more people to London even though it's such a diverse city already," said another London resident.
Mayor Daley is fond of pointing out that despite the criticism about cost -- Millennium Park has been a phenomenal success that has earned Chicago rave reviews the world over. He believes the same will be true if Chicago wins the right to host the 2016 Games.
- Man fatally shot by police in domestic dispute
- Sheriff Dart facing opposition from own party
- Brown's Chicken killer wins federal lawsuit
- Mobile payment option for metered parking
- Farewell held for local deployed soldiers
- Gay wedding expo celebrates marriage equality
- Fundraiser held for teen injured at ski park
- Orr Academy basketball player among 6 shot at party
- Photos: Plane entangles in skydiver parachute
- abcnews: Toddler with Rare Kidney Disease Beats Odds
- ABC7 First Alert Weather Forecast
41 min ago