Coe confident of delivering Games within 9.3bn budget

LONDON 2012 chief Sebastian Coe has vowed to ensure the final cost of staging this summer’s Olympics comes in within budget and hoped to offer a fault free service to customers when the final batch of tickets goes on sale in April.

A report yesterday, which factored in spending on additional security and transport upgrades, alarmingly revealed that the true cost to the UK taxpayer could eventually total over £12bn, £2.7bn more than the 9.3bn budget.

But Coe insisted the cost would not exceed the government’s public sector budget for the games, which includes all the venue construction and infrastructure developments.

“We will maintain a balanced budget to the completion of the project and the infrastructure will be delivered within the budget that has already been agreed by government,” Coe said.

“Occasionally some things are slightly more than you expect. On a lot of occasions they’re slightly less than you expect, but overall those changes have taken place within that 9.3bn pound envelope.”

Coe also claimed ticketing arrangements are on track, despite recent problems which saw the crippled resale website close within 24 hours of opening earlier this month.

“On the first day it didn’t work as well as we wanted it to work,” Coe admitted. “This was something we weren’t satisfied with. “We’ve done it in bigger numbers than anything on the planet.”