Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by the British Olympic Association


1.  What is the status of the draft study submitted to the Government by the end of 2000? At what date and by whom will it be made public?

  1.1  The BOA's draft study was submitted to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on Friday 15 December 2000.

  1.2  The study remains in draft form and as work in progress. It remains subject to change to take into account future developments and the opinions of other key stakeholders. Further substantial feasibility work will continue to be undertaken over the coming years. It would be premature for the study at this stage to be more than a draft, because the decision as to whether to bid or not for an Olympic Games will be dependent upon many factors including the feasibility of hosting such an event and the level of commitment from Government, the Mayor of London, other London agencies and the public.

  1.3  The BOA met again with officials of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on 9 January 2001 to discuss further initial steps in any potential bidding process. The BOA is scheduled to meet with the Secretary of State, the Minister for Sport, other members of Government and officials on 1 February 2001 to present on the issues covered in the draft study, the Olympic Games bidding framework and to suggest and discuss in further detail the next steps in the process. The BOA wrote to the Mayor of London on 15 May 2000, seeking to open the dialogue on a potential London Olympic bid. The BOA has since written to the Mayor of London, most recently on 19 January 2001, seeking to schedule a similar more detailed presentation and discussion. Neither the Mayor of London, nor the GLA, has seen the draft study. It is our intention to make a presentation on the prospects for a London Olympic bid to the Mayor in the very near future.

  1.4  Once the Government and the Mayor of London have had the opportunity to consider our presentations and to discuss matters further with the British Olympic Association, those two key stakeholders will need to decide whether or not to commit funding and resources to exploring the broader feasibility issues involved in bidding successfully for a London Olympic Games.

  1.5  The BOA will also need to involve other governmental and non-governmental organisations in ongoing dialogue.

  1.6  While this process is continuing, it would be premature to make the draft study public. First, the draft study contains sensitive confidential, commercial information. If made public, the study's analysis of potential village sites, potential Olympic venue sites and main stadium location options could serve to distort the housing market and land prices in London and elsewhere.

  1.7  Secondly, there will need to be an expression of public support (required as part of the IOC bidding process) and a public consultation exercise, to allow the people of London and the people of the United Kingdom to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to support a bid to host an Olympic Games. That exercise is best served by carrying out a professional exercise, monitoring responses in an organised fashion. Making the draft study public at this stage without key stakeholder commitment and without input from the Government, the Mayor of London, the GLA, other London and UK agencies and London Boroughs on key strategic questions including funding, transportation and organisation, would risk fracturing public opinion, inducing media speculation and undermining any bid from the outset.

  1.8  The draft study itself is a complex document containing some 400 pages of detailed research into IOC Games selection criteria; the IOC candidate acceptance procedure; national, regional and city characteristics; legal aspects; customs and immigration formalities; environmental protection and meteorology; finance and economic impact; marketing; the general sports concept; the sports of the Games and their requirements; the programme of the Games; the Paralympic Games; the Olympic Village; medical and health issues; security; accommodation; tourism; transport; technology; communications and media; Olympism and culture; the provision of guarantees and the IOC timetable. Publishing that amount of information now without an indication of other key stakeholder support, with much feasibility work still to be carried out and with many questions remaining unanswered, would be counterproductive.

  1.9  The public must and will be involved in the process, but it is unlikely that it would be appropriate for the draft study itself as submitted to Government or as amended over time, to be published until nearer the deadline for the submission of the `Questionnaire for Cities Applying to Become a Candidate City to Host the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 2012' in the event of us deciding to bid for this event.

2.  Is it the case as stated in the memorandum from London International Sport (SF15, page 2) that Picketts Lock has been ruled out as the athletic venue for any London Olympics? If so, when was this decision made and why?

  2.1  The memorandum from London International Sport states that "a decision was made fairly early on that Picketts Lane was unlikely to be the principal stadium for athletics".

  2.2  At a meeting of the Picketts Lock forum on 27 July 2000, the BOA agreed that in the interests of ensuring that the planning timetable for constructing the Picketts Lock Stadium for the 2005 World Athletics Championship could be achieved, that any requirement for the stadium to host the track and field events or to act as the main stadium of a London Olympic Games would be removed at that stage.

  2.3  Nevertheless, it was discussed that despite the forum's decision in relation to track and field athletics, the stadium could nevertheless be considered as a venue for other Olympic events in the event of a decision being taken to bid for a London Games.

3.  What was the BOA's response to Sport England's consultation on proposed changes to the Lottery Agreement with Wembley National Stadium Ltd and the Football Association?

  3.1  The British Olympic Association wrote to Sport England on 10 October 2000 (attached at Appendix 1*) (responding to Sport England's letter of 5 October 2000), re-stating the position the BOA has consistently held for over two years that the National Stadium should be made available to the BOA on a "`not for profit' basis in conjunction with any future Olympic Games requirement". In addition, the BOA reiterated its request that the Lottery Funding Agreement be amended to show the BOA and not UK Athletics as the event organisers for any future Olympic Games. A change of this nature would reflect the true position more accurately in the Olympic Games context.

  3.2  The BOA had already written to Sport England on 26 April 2000 on the same subject (attached at Appendix 2*) requesting that the Lottery Funding Agreement be amended to acknowledge the BOA as the rights holder for any future Olympic Games and seeking to ensure that the National Stadium be made available to the BOA on a "not for profit" basis in conjunction with any future Olympic Games. Having not received a reply to that letter, the BOA wrote again to Sport England on 15 June 2000 on the same issue (attached at Appendix 3 [1]) requesting a reply. Sport England's response of 6 July 2000 updated the BOA on current progress but did not address either issue relating to proposed amendments to the Lottery Funding Agreement.

4.  What does the BOA view as the main lessons of the Sydney Olympics for any future London Olympic bid?

  4.1  The BOA learned from its experience at the Sydney Olympic Games that what was right for Sydney, will not necessarily be right for London. Although concentrating 14 of the 28 sports in Homebush Bay proved extremely successful in Sydney, a facilities park based on the Homebush model is not necessarily a prerequisite for Olympic success, nor necessarily the best model for London.

  4.2  The main lessons which the BOA has learned over the past 104 years of bidding for, organising and attending Olympic Games, were largely reinforced at the Sydney Olympic Games. The main lessons for any future London Olympic bid are set out in the BOA's memorandum to the CMS Select Committee in this inquiry (December 2000) and in particular at paragraph 22 (i) to (vii).

  4.3  In addition, the BOA witnessed the positive effect shifting the use of private vehicles to highly efficient public transport had on easing the flow of spectators and competitors.

5.  What role is envisaged for a) Wembley and b) Picketts Lock in any proposed facilities strategy for a London Olympic bid?

  5.1  The BOA's draft study submitted to officials on 15 December 2000 highlights options for potential Olympic Games facilities in all 28 Summer Olympic sports. The BOA in its work has examined in substantial detail the options which a) Wembley and b) Picketts Lock might present for any London Olympic bid. The draft study examines the duration for which facilities are required; International Federation requirements; warm-up facilities; capacity; distance from the village; other venues and press and broadcasting centres; spectator access; current use; the need to build new permanent or temporary structures; estimated cost; and after use.

  5.2  Until such time as the key stakeholders in any future London Olympic bid have had the opportunity to consider the options which the BOA has researched and until such time as they have formulated the questions which need to be asked to determine whether or not Wembley or Picketts Lock could form part of a facilities strategy, it would be premature for the BOA to draw conclusions in isolation. Any role for Wembley and/or Picketts Lock would be dependent to a very large extent on:

    (a)  the results of ongoing feasibility in relation to Picketts Lock;

    (b)  the views of each of the other key stakeholders; and

    (c)  the designs of Wembley Stadium and Picketts Lock becoming finalised and the facilities being constructed.

6.  Does the British Olympic Association consider that any London Olympics should be focused on East or West London?

  6.1  The BOA's draft study sets out a variety of options not only for sports facilities but also for a potential Olympic village, a media village, a main press centre, an international broadcasting centre and a main stadium. The BOA has considered all areas of London and all potential venues and facilities in and surrounding London. However, the detail of the location of individual facilities set out in the BOA's draft study is commercially sensitive and must therefore remain confidential until consensus has been reached and a decision made to proceed. The draft study was made available to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on a confidential basis and the Department accepted its sensitivity and agreed to maintain that confidentiality.

  6.2  The BOA's draft study sets out options based on an East and West London scenario (both of which options involve sites in North and/or South London). It would be premature and unwise for the BOA to express a preference for either an East or West London option at this embryonic stage until further feasibility work has been carried out with the support of other key stakeholders. Substantial questions remain unanswered, not least of which are the comparative costs, and the relative and reasoned preferences of the other key stakeholders in any bidding process.

7.  What are the BOA's views on possible locations for a main Olympic stadium and associated venues and on means of ensuring their long-term viability?

  7.1  The BOA's draft study sets out a variety of options for main stadiums. That information is at this early stage commercially sensitive and therefore confidential for the reasons set out above. Much work remains to be carried out to assess the environmental impact, the long-term viability, the financial viability of building new venues, converting old venues or building temporary facilities. Once the BOA has an indication from key stakeholders of their level of commitment, the BOA will have a clearer idea as to whether it is appropriate to commit further time, resources, energy and funding to examine in further detail the feasibility of any proposed main stadium for an Olympic Games.

8.  What is the current state of the BOA's consideration of possible sites for a London Olympic village?

  8.1  The BOA has carried out substantial work with the London Planning Advisory Committee (now part of the Greater London Authority) into examining 51 possible sites for an Olympic village throughout Greater London. The work of the BOA's Village Working Group from 1997 onwards, has examined issues such as land procurement, the needs of the village, the purpose of a village, sustainable development, the site design, service infrastructure, heating and power, landscape design, water resources, solar heating, minimising heat loss, bio-diversity, waste management, building design, environmental aspects, crime prevention, transport and location. Each site was analysed against a set of objective criteria and ranked accordingly.

  8.2  That analysis forms one chapter of the BOA draft study.

9.  What is the current state of the BOA's consideration of a transport strategy for a London Olympic bid?

  9.1  Chapter 19 of the BOA's draft study submitted to Government sets out the BOA's substantial and detailed work considering transport issues associated with bidding for and staging an Olympic Games in London within the IOC's requirements (as set out in the Manual for Candidate Cities for 2008) and within the objectives outlined in A Transport Strategy for London 1996.

  9.2  The BOA's work was carried out in association with the Metropolitan Police, London Docklands Development Corporation, Government Office for London, London Planning Advisory Committee, Association of London Government, Railtrack, Traffic Director of London, London Transport Highways Agency, British Airports Authority and Transport for London. The work to date has considered air travel, sea travel, road travel, innovations to reduce congestion, public transport, rail travel, river travel and also proposes options for a way forward.

  9.3  Once a consensus is established among key stakeholders and once there is commitment for the process to move to the next stage, and preferably once a decision has been taken on principle venues, the next logical step would be to commit further funding to carry out more detailed and more focused work on any specific requirements to upgrade or redevelop any particular elements of transport and the transport network for any London Olympic Games.

  10.  What is the BOA's current assessment of the total public cost associated with staging the Olympic Games in London?

  10.1  The Committee's question is unclear as to precisely what is meant by the term `public cost', and whether that means Government costs, local authority costs, public/private partnership costs, the costs of the organising committee or a combination of some or all of these.

  10.2  Budgeting and accounting sensibly for the costs and revenues associated with bidding for and staging an Olympic Games is a unique challenge. It requires the balancing of governmental costs and revenues with the income and expenditure of the organising committee, those of private sector and those of public/private partnerships. Organising committees at previous Olympic Games have accounted for the costs of constructing airports, roads and railways, visitor accommodation, sports venues, the Olympic village and media centres as costs of the Organising Committee budget. Others, however, have treated such costs as governmental costs on the basis that capital municipal projects have a longer-term public benefit beyond the Olympic Games. At the Montreal Olympic Games of 1976, the Canadian Government did not grant to the City of Montreal any financial guarantees, leaving the organising committee to self-finance the Games with support only from the City of Montreal. The deficit of $2,029 million dollars was covered exclusively by that Guarantee, which to this day is still in operation, seeking to balance the deficit. Whereas at the Seoul Olympic Games of 1998, 53 per cent of costs were covered publicly, 25 per cent by the Organising Committee and 22 per cent privately. The reported surplus of approximately $148 million attributed as a Games surplus is due arguably in large part to the high comparative degree of public finance. The attached chart (at Appendix 4[2]) shows that where public investment is removed from the calculation, the vast majority of Olympic Games since 1972 created a Games surplus of around $500 million.

  10.3  Many of the costs associated with staging an Olympic Games are offset by the sale by the IOC of worldwide sponsorship and television rights. Those rights sold for over $1 billion at the Sydney Olympic Games and that figure is likely to rise at future Games. Games costs are also offset by the sale of local sponsorship, licensing and suppliership rights and tickets. Traditionally, the main expenditure of the Organising Committee is spent on capital investment in sports facilities, the Olympic village, the main press centre, the international broadcasting centre, the costs of staging the ceremonies and programmes, providing medical services, catering, transport, security, the Paralympic Games, advertising and promoting the Games, administering pre-Olympic events and co-ordination.

  10.4  The BOA's draft study sets out a detailed analysis of the financial aspects of bidding for and staging an Olympic Games including the various options as used by previous host cities and by 2004 bidding cities. The draft study also highlights the economic impact of staging an Olympic Games on the host country, setting out the macro-economic aspects, the cost-benefit analysis, organising committee revenues looking at past Olympic Games host city models.

  10.5  Further detailed financial analysis of the public, private and organising committee and other revenues and expenditures is needed. Key stakeholders are likely to require their own independent cost-benefit analysis of bidding for and staging an Olympic Games in London. Until such time as there is consensus to proceed to the next stage and until it is clear what principal sites are preferred and so what transport and other infrastructure development would be required, any study of the likely costs and revenues associated with a London Games would be wholly provisional and potentially misdirected and misconceived. A full financial feasibility assessment we believe will greatly assist key stakeholders and indeed the people of the United Kingdom to decide whether it is worth their while to support any London Olympic bid.

11.  Does the BOA consider that the new IOC Games selection system outlined in its memorandum meets the requirements set by the Government of the system which is seen to be transparent and honest and can enjoy the confidence of all bidding cities and of the entire Olympic movement?

  11.1  The BOA welcomes the Government's own assessment of the new bidding process for the election of host cities for the Olympic Games as adopted by the IOC session in December 1999. In paragraph 26 of the Government's memorandum to the Committee for this inquiry (December 2000), the Government states that "the International Olympic Committee have substantially revised their bidding process including a pre-selection stage which draws up a shortlist. The Government welcomed the IOC's enquiry to investigate allegations of corruption as it is imperative that the choice of an Olympic venue should be seen to be made in a manner that is transparent, open and fair. The Government fully supported the IOC's efforts to root out any indications of corruption and supported the system of bidding as was recommended by the BOA. The UK welcomes any move to restore confidence in the IOC".

  11.2  The BOA positively promoted the case for reform of IOC procedures. Although only time will tell, the BOA believes that the new bidding, evaluation and selection system will be proved to be transparent and honest, and will enjoy the confidence of all bidding cities, the entire Olympic movement and the public.

12.  Has the Manual for Candidate Cities for 2008, been published? If so, how did it differ from previous editions and could a copy be provided to the Committee. If not, when will it be published?

  The Manual for Candidate Cities for 2008 was published at the very end of the year 2000. We have pleasure in enclosing a copy of the manual for the Committee's assistance (attached at Appendix 5[3]).

13.  When does the BOA expect to hold formal discussions with the British Paralympic Association about a London Olympic bid and what consideration has been given to the Paralympic requirements in the BOA's work so far?

  13.1  The reforms adopted by the IOC in December 1999 make it a formal requirement that the Paralympic Games must be organised in the same city as the Olympic Games. The obligation for the host city to organise the Paralympic Games must be included in the host city contract. It is also a requirement for the Paralympic Games always to follow the Olympic Games.

  13.2  Chapter 13 of the BOA's draft study deals entirely with issues surrounding bidding for and staging a Paralympic Games. The British Paralympic Association was fully involved in drafting the chapter of the BOA's draft study which deals entirely with the bidding process in relation to the Paralympic Games, the Paralympic strategy, and the Paralympic principles for working within the IOC's Olympic Games framework. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the BPA in the future.

January 2001

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