Rome workmen are busily engaged cleaning up the Italian capital while the last of the Olympic Games visitors depart.
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SPORT: OLYMPIC GAMES
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Background: Rome workmen are busily engaged cleaning up the Italian capital while the last of the Olympic Games visitors depart. Even as spectators left the various stadia, armies of cleaners began clearing thousands of tone of litter, and carpenters dismantled temporary seating and signposting.
As the costliest Games in the history of the Olympics drew to a close Sept 11, officials were estimating the financial situation. Turnstile revenue accrued GBP1,551,000, more than double that of the 1956 Melbourne Games. Additional Television and Broadcasting fees enabled organisers to break even on the GBP2,580,000 expended. A Public Works outlay of GBP50,500,000 for the new Fiumicino Airport, Olympic Village, new roads and stadia, is not counted as a loss as they are permanencies and will benefit the city's inhabitants by providing new homes, playing fields, and improved transport facilities.
Roman hoteliers, shopkeepers, tradesmen and businessmen must be asking themselves whether the expense and trouble was worthwhile. Most of them have done not better business than is normal at this time of the year. Of the thousands who did come, thousands were economy class tourists, while regular holiday-makers with money to spend stayed away in anticipation of a Games invasion that did not materialize. Olympic souvenirs by the ton remain unsold.