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London v Paris, temporary v permanent


London 2012 bosses' decision to use a large element of temporary structures harks back to the Golden era of the great Victorian exhibitions, such as the 1851 Crystal Palace, where venues would be erected in a prime central location for a short period before being dismantled and resurrected further aeld.

This contrasted greatly with the French, who preferred permanent structures, says ICE head of knowledge Mike Chrimes.

'The success of the Crystal Palace distorted the view of the potential for temporary structures, ' says Chrimes.

On the Victorian model, contractors were hired to build and relocate the exhibitions. The exhibitor would pay them rent, putting all the capital cost and all the risk with the contractor. This worked well with the Crystal Palace exhibition, which was extremely popular and guaranteed the revenues for the contractor to recoup its initial outlay.

'When it came to the 1862 exhibition, however, the contractors were unable to make a go of it when they attempted to switch it from central London to Alexandra Palace.' The French by contrast built to last, and many of their exhibition buildings still stand today, including the Grand Palais and Petit Palais which housed exhibitions in 1900 and still house collections today.

Stadium costs

Milton Keynes MK Dons stadium: £43M, 30,000 seats, £1433 per seat.

Southampton St. Mary's: £32M, 32,000 seats, £1,000 per seat.

City of Manchester: £110M (plus £35M postgames conversion), 47,726 seats, £3038 per seat.

Wembley: £753M, 90,000 seats, £8366 per seat.

Arsenal Emirates: £390M, 60,000 seats, £6,500 per seat.

Athens Olympic Stadium: £177M, 72,000 seats, £2458 per seat.

Stadium Australia: £265M (plus £34M conversion), 110,000 seats (73,000 post games), £2627.27 per seat (£3958.90 per seat post games).

London 2012: £490M? 80,000 seats (25,000 postgames), £6125 per seat (£19,600 post games)

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