London will avoid Games curse

LOCOG said mistakes made by other cities were analysed while London were prepared for its bid.

Mistakes made by other cities were analysed and will be avoided by London.

LONDON - London organisers are confident future planning for 2012 Games venues and the Olympic Park will stop the curse that has plagued other host cities from infecting Britain's capital.

Keith Mills, deputy chairman of organising committee LOCOG, said the mistakes made by other cities, left with huge bills and deserted buildings after hosting Olympics, were analysed thoroughly as London prepared its bid.

He added that one of LOCOG's main aims was to ensure the Olympics had a lasting benefit for the capital so they focused on regenerating east London, one of the poorest parts of the city.

"The Olympic movement needs to be more than a great big sports competition. It has enormous power to do good," Mills told a conference.

"We were very careful to focus on what London needs and only build permanent venues that were required."

The excitement of winning a bid to host a Games and desire to do well has made the event more and more expensive to host, prompting economists to refer to the 'Olympic Curse' as cities spend more than the value of the showpiece occasion.

Research from Oxford University's Said Business School found on average host cities overspent by 179 percent - and London was on course to be the most over-budget Games in 16 years.

London's proposed budget has surged from 2.3 billion pounds at the time of winning its bid in 2005 to 9.3 billion pounds ($14 billion) which Mills put down to costs for land acquisition and regenerating the Olympic Park.

But he said spending was targeted to ensure the Games left a legacy for the city and a return on investment.