Back in February I noticed that Livingstone not only flew to Miami in his one man crusade to save the planet from climate change but also that his NFL game in October will encourage 10,000 Americans to fly the Atlantic to see their own game played in London (see previous posting).
I really quite like Americans, heck I even married one, but I don’t really see the point of ferrying a foreign game plus its spectators to London.
10,000 seemed bad enough but this number seems to have jumped to 15,000 now.
Labour assembly member, Murad Qureshi, is in the habit of asking planted questions of the Mayor when Livingstone wants to brag about something or other. In the last round of questions he came up with this easy ball for the Mayor:
Murad Qureshi: What benefits will hosting the NFL in October bring to London?
Ken Livingstone: The economic benefit to London of the visitor spend for the NFL game this October, negotiations for which started with my visit of October 2005 to New York, is estimated at Â£20 million. An estimated 15,000 American fans are expected to travel to watch the NFL Game in London and spend leisure time here at the same time. The viewing audience will also be swelled by British & European NFL fans travelling from other parts of the UK and Europe and staying in the city, bringing further economic benefit throughout the capital.
All of a sudden it is 15,000 transatlantic flights rather than the 10,000 described in the Mayor’s original press release. I can’t quite work out how this fits in with his London Climate Change Action Plan. The Action Plan suggests that the Mayor and GLA bodies:
lead by example ensuring that all agencies under Mayoral control avoid flights wherever possible and offset their emissions when air travel is the only option.
Unless you are coming to London for a football game. Doh! It seems where the Mayor’s new greenery clashes with his old GLC habits of funding bread and circuses the later will win out.