Organisation, finance and the
74. The initiative for staging the Commonwealth Games
in Manchester came from the City Council and it is playing a leading
role in delivering the event. It has direct responsibility for
facility development and regeneration, but has delegated responsibility
for organising the Games to a Company with a separate legal identity.
Manchester Commonwealth Games Ltd is the Organising Committee
for the Games, and includes representatives of the Commonwealth
Games Federation, the private sector, the Commonwealth Games Council
for England and the City Council, plus observers from the English
Sports Council and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
A subsidiary operating Company, Manchester 2002 Limited, is responsible
for delivery of the Games organisation.
75. The Commonwealth Games do not have a record of
profitability and the City Council has underwritten the Games
in financial terms.
The Council's original bid forecast that the operational budget
for the event would break even.
Since then other cities which considered bidding and the English
Sports Council have voiced doubts or concerns about the realism
of this forecast.
The expansion of the sports programme for the Games has meant
that the costs of the Games have escalated since the original
bid. The business plan is being reviewed by a Committee under
the chairmanship of Sir Rodney Walker in the light of this and
of current forecasts of revenue.
76. There remain many uncertainties about revenue
for the Games. Agreements on the sale of broadcasting rights for
Australia and the United Kingdom have yet to be completed and
may be delayed for some time to maximise the value of rights,
although United Kingdom rights will certainly involve a terrestrial
The only major confirmed sponsor of the event is Manchester Airport
and, although the organisers expected to announce other sponsors
shortly, they also thought that the bulk of sponsorship would
be secured in the two years before the Games.
Since the event has been underwritten by the City Council and
there will be major public investment in facilities, the English
Sports Council held out no prospect of itself providing any revenue
support for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
77. Manchester City Council is making provision to
ensure that any cost overruns do not directly affect local services.
However, it left little doubt that it was focusing its own resources
on maximising the local benefits from the event and could not
be responsible for the overall national impact.
Manchester City Council is not unduly proprietorial about the
Commonwealth Games: Councillor Leese stated that "they are
the English Games being held in Manchester and we very much want
to see them being perceived as a national event not one that is
either a local event to Manchester or even merely a regional event
in the North West of England".
78. There is an immense national stake in the success
of this event. As Mr Fennell made clear, the "rest of the
Commonwealth do not see this as just being hosted in Manchester;
they see it as a Games in England; they see it as a whole country
hosting the Games".
The Prime Minister said in the House of Commons on 12 May 1999
that the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games "will be a tremendous
showcase not just for Manchester, but for the whole of Britain".
The Games will take place during the Queen's Golden Jubilee year,
a fact which is likely to give the event special significance
nationally and internationally.
Most importantly, positive perceptions of the event across
the world are fundamental to the prospects of future bids for
other major events, as Mr Banks acknowledged.
79. Many of the activities necessary to ensure the
success of the Games require involvement at a national level.
When we took oral evidence from the British Tourist Authority,
we were very concerned that it had had no formal contact with
the organisers of the Games despite the "huge potential"
of the event.
In subsequent written evidence, the Authority sought to correct
any impression that its engagement with the event was "too
limited or tardy".
It set out a timetable for a marketing campaign and confirmed
subsequently that it had held its first planning meeting with
It also pointed out that the Department for Culture, Media and
Sport had not convened a meeting of the Commonwealth Games International
Group for some time.
Discussions at national level on the cultural programme are only
at an exploratory stage.
The business plan for the Games is dependent upon securing sponsors
of national status.
Councillor Leese thought that the target for sponsorship was "only
achievable if we get very significant support from Government".
Mr Banks said that "Manchester, with Government support,
has got to do far more to sell the Commonwealth Games".
80. However, a supporting role from Government may
not be enough. Councillor Leese thought that the Government needed
to take "a leading role" rather than "a strong
He left no doubt that the delivery of a major event required a
partnership with Government in a leading role.
Sir Rodney Walker thought that there needed to be a "much
clearer structure" for the management of the Games and told
us that he had been asked to consider becoming Chairman of Manchester
2002 Limited, the subsidiary operating company of the Organising
The future roles of local and
81. As the non-sporting requirements associated with
events have escalated in scale and importance, the process of
bidding for and then staging international sporting events in
this country has become too dependent upon the goodwill and financial
support of local authorities. Local authorities, as instanced
by Manchester in respect of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, have
played a valuable and commendable role in this field and have
a continuing role in support of other bodies and in relation to
smaller scale events.
82. However, major events are national in character
and this should be reflected in arrangements for their organisation.
Tournaments spread across the country such as Euro '96 and the
Cricket World Cup are vulnerable to the differing priorities of
Major events concentrated in one city have imposed a considerable
and unfair burden on the relevant city authority: those authorities
are expected to be responsible for some facility costs, to subsidise
and under-write the running costs and to meet many of the hidden
costs associated with events. This burden is most apparent in
the inheritance of debt for the City of Sheffield from the 1991
World Student Games.
The benefits to local business and to the local economy resulting
from events do not bring direct financial benefit to local authorities
due to the nature of the local government finance system.
The commitment of local government to staging sporting events
is often crucial to their success. Local authorities are key partners
in sporting events. However, major events are not municipal, but
national. The Government and national bodies must now recognise
this and take a more leading role themselves in partnership with
host local authorities.
83. There is no reason to doubt that the preparations
for the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games are being well-managed
by Manchester City Council and the other parties involved. The
problems lie not in their abilities, but in their priorities and
position. The Council is accountable to the Council taxpayers
of Manchester and cannot be expected to justify to them expenditure
linked predominantly to non-local benefits. The Games are a national
event of national importance which deserve and require national
leadership. There should be a recognition that regional and national
benefits may be best secured by national investment. Success of
the event is pivotal to the United Kingdom's prospects for attracting
future major events: if this country cannot organise a Commonwealth
Games of world stature, there would seem little point in contemplating
a bid for the Olympics. The financial success of the 2002 Games,
particularly in attracting sponsorship support, depends upon the
event being promoted as an event of national importance by the
Government. We recommend that the Government, as a matter of
urgency, examine the financial plans and needs of the Manchester
2002 Commonwealth Games, accept the necessity for additional central
Government support and determine the scope for such support. The
Government should also involve itself more closely in the strategic
management and promotion of the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.
165 HC (1994-95) 493, Q 68 and para 19. Back
p 89; Evidence, pp 253, 256. Back
pp 228, 263. Back
pp 203, 229. Back
220; Evidence, pp 258-260. Back
pp 7, 228-229; Major Events: The Economics, p 4. Back
p 256. Back
Events: The Economics, p
pp 188-190, 196, 217, 253-257; QQ 322-323; Major Events: The
Economics, pp 9, 13; HC (1994-95) 493, paras 15-17, 27-28. Back
p 217; HC (1994-95) 493, Q 103. Back
pp 203, 217. Back
176 Ibid. Back
pp 217, 232. Back
Report from the Foreign Affairs Committee, The Future Role
of the Commonwealth, HC (1995-96) 45-I, paras 3, 4, 205. Back
Games Federation brochure, 1998, p 11; Q 406. Back
2, paras 6, 13; Q 403. Back
Deb, 12 May 1999, col 317. Back
p 67. Back
pp 67, 70; QQ 134, 533; Annex 3, paras 9, 18. Back
p 245; Annex 3, para 9; Q 550. Back
(1994-95) 493, paras 30-31; Annex 3, paras 27, 29. Back
pp 145, 70; QQ 507, 276. Back
pp 147, 292; QQ 506-507. Back
pp 69, 146, 292; Q 279. Back
p 69; Q 320; Annex 3, paras 6, 28. Back
Commonwealth Games Economic Impact Assessment: Executive Summary,
KPMG, March 1999, p 5. Back
pp 6-7. Back
p 70; Q 143. Back
(1994-95) 493, p 10; Evidence, p 70. Back
p 68; Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games Bid, p 114. Back
(1994-95) 493, p 10 and QQ 68, 151. Back
p 70; QQ 134, 139-140, 276, 533. Back
p 72; QQ 130-132, 273, 305, 572. Back
p 73; QQ 277, 305, 311-314. Back
pp 146, 147; QQ 528-529. Back
p 71. Back
Deb, 12 May 1999, col 317. Back
285; Evidence, pp 168, 258, 282. Back
286, 575; Evidence, p 237. Back
p 85; QQ 331, 342-343. Back
p 92. Back
pp 92-93, 281-282. Back
p 93. Back
pp 168, 270; Q 285; Annex 3, para 17. Back
p 73; Q 314. Back
535, 534. Back
p 49; QQ 168-169, 504. Back
pp 230, 262; HC (1994-95) 493, para 19. Back
505; Evidence, p 71. Back