Saturday, February 7, 2009

Olympic stadium could cost more than Wembley

The main Olympic Stadium could end up costing more than trouble-torn Wembley.

Government figures released yesterday show that the cost of the 2012 showpiece has shot-up again by ВЈ22m in just ten weeks to an estimated ВЈ547m.

Actual construction costs at Wembley accounted for around ВЈ620m of the ВЈ757m final cost of the project.

Now Olympic experts fear that the cost of building the main Games stadium could be even more than the home of English football.

The Sir Robert McAlpine led Team Stadium is building the 2012 showpiece which was originally budgeted to cost ВЈ282m in 2004 when London was bidding for the Games.

That estimate rose to ВЈ496m in November 2007 then increased again to ВЈ525m in July 2008.


Olympic stadium could cost more than Wembley


Latest Government estimates compiled in September 2008 show a further £22m jump in the price to £547m as a result of “contract price negotiations” and “cost pressures resulting from additional scope requirements.”

One industry expert said: “Costs are rising alarmingly and nothing untoward has even happened yet.

“Wembley was racked by a string of disputes and strikes which sent its budget through the roof.

“That’s not the case at the Olympics and construction raw material costs are going down at the moment.

“The Olympic Stadium is also a fairly basic structure with concrete up halfway then the rest assembled pre-fabbed steel.

“We need a proper explanation of what has caused this increase and assurances more won’t follow over the coming months otherwise we could easily see this costing more to build than Wembley.”

Olympic Delivery Authority chairman John Armitt said: "We are managing the budget as an overall envelope. Where there are cost pressures in some areas, such as on venues, we are working to offset these by making savings in other areas, such as the clean up of the site and infrastructure projects.”

An ODA spokesman said: “This isn’t a fair comparison because all the costs of the Olympic Stadium are at 2012 prices. Wembley opened in 2007 after a four year build programme and construction inflation has been running around 6% for the last four years.

“On that basis the real cost today of Wembley would nearer £1bn so we are coming in at around half that.”

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