ACOG Says Bus Problems Add $1 million to Games' Cost
Jul. 25, 1996
ATLANTA (AP) _ Problems with the bus system taking athletes, fans and reporters to Olympic events have given Atlanta's organizers a million-dollar headache.
Fixing the glitches that have plagued the transportation network's first week has added up to $1.5 million to the cost of staging the Centennial Games, said A.D. Frazier, chief operating officer of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.
Despite the unexpected expense, Frazier said Thursday, ACOG still expected to wind up in the black on its $1.7 billion budget. He said late redistribution of event tickets added $400,000 to the pot.
``At this juncture, the odds are very favorable to ending up in the black,'' he said.
Total tickets sales were 8.4 million, generating $458 million, and stadiums outside of soccer were at 95 percent of capacity, Frazier said. So far, 2.6 million fans have watched Olympic events, he said.
``Last-minute changes cost money, but we made our ticket budget with spectacular sales,'' Frazier said. ``The ticket number is part of the portfolio we were counting on. Our revenue sources look like they will meet or slightly exceed our expectations.''
Frazier addressed a news conference after almost a week of newspaper and broadcast reports on glitches at the Atlanta Games.
While the sports events themselves have been staged without major problems, the transportation and computer technology programs of ACOG have had frequent breakdowns, especially in providing scores and statistics to news agencies.
At the start of the session, Frazier read a long list of statistics aimed at showing just how big the job of staging a games athletes, fans and journalists from 197 countries was.
Frazier said ACOG had:
_ Accredited 184,338 people, including 10,849 athletes.
_ Assembled 1,700 buses and vans and 5,000 cars for a transportation system that would stretch more than 18 miles if the vehicles were parked bumper to bumper.
_ Signed 27,757 purchase orders with 6,366 merchants.
_ Installed 10,000 TV sets, 15,000 telephones and 20,000 cell phones, beepers and walkie-talkies.
_ Washed 303,360 towels, 48,636 pillow cases, 24,540 blankets and 6,588 sheets.
_ Delivered 2,000 box lunches for athletes each day.
``Our logistics operation is far larger than any in the past,'' he said.