Yesterday the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee (BOCOG) held a press conference updating the media on the construction of the various venues.
And there wasn't much to say except that 27 of the 31 Beijing-based buildings either new or renovated were practically finished for the start of the "Good Luck Beijing" sports events next week. That's when athletes will actually test out these venues for the next two months so that engineers and designers can fine tune them for next year.
However, when a foreign media reporter asked about the total cost of the renovation and construction of new venues, she was given a vague answer, saying that everything was on budget and on time. The official gave no figure, or even a range of numbers.
Another German journalist tried to press again for a number. And the reply again, was reiterated, but this time a hint was added that the total budget was less than the cost of the construction of the Sydney 2000 Games.
One wonders why there is such a strong refusal to disclose a number. Perhaps the amount is too big for the average Chinese to swallow, or it's easier for the government to spin the numbers later since no figure was released in the first place. It almost sounds like a state secret.
However, one thing's for certain -- with the abundant cheap labour, the venues will definitely be completed on time, regardless of cost.