Posted by: olymponomics | May 21, 2012

Post-event risks

The crescendo of attention at the staging of mega-events such as the Olympics tends to encourage a focus upon ‘event-time’ risks. However, an increasing number of post-event risks are becoming apparent as the opening ceremony approaches. For instance, there are fears over the readiness of UK border controls for “a post-Games rush” as extra staff taken on for the London 2012 Olympics are stood down after the event and as tens of thousands of international students arrive for the 2012/2013 academic year. There is also potential for a backlog of post, as postal services face disruption in London during the event (with additional surcharges in place for the duration of the Games). There remain risks, still, with the disposal of the London Olympic stadium to a private tenant, as the future of the venue remains undecided. As part of the risk discourse associated with mega-events, it is almost inevitable that the preoccupation of organizers with readiness will dominate until events are over and the clean-up begins, at which point planning turns to long-term use or decommissioning of facilities. For example, the UK government’s sale of the Millennium Dome to private developers suffered delays and setbacks, which left post-event planning in limbo and increased the cost to taxpayers, due to the continued costs of maintaining the venue and professional fees for arranging its sale. The deal was not in place until May 2002, more than two and a half years after initial proposals for post-event of the Dome were announced.

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