Is hosting the Olympics worth the cost?
UNDATED (NBC) -- Hosting the Olympics can be an international coming out party for a city on the rise, but hasn't London already arrived?
Devin Scillian takes a look at the cost of hosting the games.
The idea is generally that whatever the games cost, you'll make it up in increased tourism and development. But this is London, already clogged with tourists from all over the world.
And hello? Isn't there a terrible recession pummeling Europe?
"I think it's absolutely worth it, in fact, I think it's the perfect antidote to difficult times. We’re right on time, right on budget. So as an economic model and as a way of stimulating the economy and big construction projects at an important time, it's been just what we needed," said one man.
The landscape shifts beneath your feet as soon you win the bid.
When London won the games in 2005, the estimate then was that it would cost about $4 billion.
Fast forward to 2012, the bill is more than twice that and you don't have to leave Europe to find a cautionary tale in those Olympic rings.
There is a school of thought that the cost of the Olympics in Athens back in 2004 helped launch Greece into its fiscal freefall of today. But London hopes it’s learned from the mistakes of others.
For example some of the venues in Athens now sit notoriously unused. To avoid that problem in London some of the venues are strictly temporary.
An enormous shooting range in London is temporary. As soon as the games are over, they tear it down, pack it up and put it away.
But Locog says 75 percent of the money spent has gone into projects and improvements that will stay long after the flame is extinguished.
What, but the Olympics, can transform an area so quickly and so profoundly?
The center of the Olympic Games is in Stratford, an area of east London that was basically ignored for ages, just a collection of warehouses and canals.
Now - it's a sparkling new city.
"I think that's absolutely the case and I think it's completely inarguable that you've seen in a space of seven years something that it would have taken 20 or 30 years to achieve and I think anyone who goes to that part of London will marvel at what's happened there," said one man.
Some 40,000 jobs have been created, and Darren Crutchfield has one of them helping build the Olympic village. But he fears a false floor.
"Obviously, it's doing me a lot of good at the moment, and obviously a lot of other people. But on the downside of that when the Olympics is done there's going to be an awful lot of people looking for work," Crutchfield said.