It's no secret that here in TheLab™ we are not big fans of the Olympic Games. Sure, we enjoyed watching Cathy Freeman win the 400m in Syndney just like everybody else. If running around tracks is your thing then "have at it". Just explain to us why it has to cost £9.2Billion and everything else takes a back seat for about 10 years?
At the moment the Edinburgh Festival and Festival Fringe are under way in Scotland and the numbers are very interesting.
The London Olympics Organising Committee told Article19 that over 17,000 athletes will take part in the games, including the Olympics and Paralympics. Both events have 9.5 million tickets up for sale.
Total cost: £9,200,000,000.00
Contrast that with the Festival Fringe (not the main Festival) which will attract over 18,000 artists and will sell more than 1.5 million tickets to say nothing of the hundreds of free performances on the streets.
Total cost: A tiny fraction of the Olympics.
You should bear in mind that nowhere near 9.5 million Olympics tickets will be sold. Many are for qualifying events that hold little interest for anybody and many thousands of tickets that people may actually want to buy are set aside for sponsors, special guests and other "worthy" types.
Both events last about 3 weeks. The main difference is that Edinburgh hosts the Festival, Festival Fringe and the 'Tattoo' every year. Artists are not provided with a custom built 'village' to live in and existing facilities are used to host everything from dance to poetry readings.
The Olympics, on the other hand, will have its own transportation system, media centre, stadiums, warehouses, pharmacies, clinics, cars, trucks, buses and anything else that can be bought for money and have a garish logo stuck on the side.
All of this gives us pause for thought and leads us to ask a few simple questions!
At what point did professional athletes stop being capable of getting themselves from A to B on a train or bus that everybody else has to use? At what point did professional athletes become incapable of finding their own accommodation? At what point did we start needing architectural wet dreams to hold running tracks or swimming pools? At what point did we decide that all of this had to cost stratospheric sums of money to the detriment of all else?
£9.2Billion for a 3 week event, just exactly how crazy are these people?