City Spends Billions for Olympics - and Beyond
WHEN the tens of thousands of tickets to sporting events are distributed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the exercise will have helped a young company here toward its goal of growing to serve a new European market. ``We are preparing to attack the Europe of 1992,'' says Josep Hern`an, director of T&G International, a three-year-old software and telecommunications company that will engineer the information system for Olympics ticketing and accreditation.
``Right now, the Olympics are our big event,'' says Mr. Hern`an. Noting, however, that the information services field is expected to boom as the European Community forms a single market, he adds, ``We're looking for a partner elsewhere in Europe to expand our scope. We want to grow.''
The Olympics are certainly Barcelona's big event, with billions of dollars in construction either under way or anticipated. Work is also proceeding on an Olympic village that will replace an antiquated industrial sector with a new neighborhood opening the city to the sea.
But officials with the local Olympic Committee, local government, and business, are determined to ensure that staging the Olympics does more for Barcelona than merely put it on the international stage for a little over two weeks.
``It's important that we demystify the one year of 1992,'' says Josep Miguel Abad, chief executive officer of the Barcelona Olympic Organizing Committee. ``Our perspective really should be for the future after '92.''
With the Olympics as its catalyst, Barcelona is building $1 billion in new roads, laying new train tracks to accommodate high-speed trains, adding water-treatment facilities, and modernizing telecommunications delivery.
``The games have permitted a resolution of problems that have plagued Barcelona for 60 or 70 years,'' Mr. Abad says.
Local leaders are expecting the modernized Barcelona that will be showcased to create interest in business and investment possibilities.