Further supplementary memorandum submitted
by the British Olympic Association
This further supplementary memorandum of the
British Olympic Association responds to the Culture, Media and
Sport Select Committee's invitation to the BOA to comment on relevant
statements contained in other memoranda submitted to the Select
Committee as part of its further inquiry into Staging International
Sporting Events. The BOA has confined its comments in this further
supplementary memorandum to points of significance and relevance
to the Committee's current further inquiry and has excluded points
of no relevance to this inquiry and/or covered elsewhere in the
BOA's memoranda submitted to the Committee for this or previous
1. THE MEMORANDUM
1.1 Paragraph 9.19 (i) of Sport England's
submission states that "the British Olympic Association,
whilst wanting to see athletics removed from Wembley, sought to
ensure that the new Wembley stadium would host other Olympic events
on a `cost-only' basis".
1.2 Sport England's statement could be construed
as misleading, and as such the BOA wrote directly to Sport England
on 23 January 2001 re-iterating the BOA's true position on this
matter. The BOA's consistent position over Wembley has been to
ensure that track and field athletics could form an integral part
of the new National Stadium. After the stadium designers had presented
their "platform solution" to the BOA as the only available
option for including track and field athletics in the redesign
of Wembley Stadium, and after the BOA and others had analysed
the findings of an independent report into the stadium design,
the British Olympic Association agreed to support the Secretary
of State's decision to remove the "platform solution"
from the stadium and sought then to safeguard the possibility
of staging other Olympic events at the National Stadium on a "cost-only"
basis for any future London Olympic Games.
2. THE MEMORANDUM
2.1 The second paragraph on page four of
the WNSL submission under the title "The Future of Athletics
at Wembley" sets out that the "DCMS and the BOA have,
WNSL is given to understand, requested that the opening and closing
ceremonies of a potential Olympic Games be held at the National
Stadium. In such a scenario, track and field athletics events
will be held at a separate athletics stadium with a minimum capacity
of 65,000 seats".
2.2 The BOA has not made any such request.
It would be illogical for the BOA to insist that the opening and
closing ceremonies of a potential Olympic Games must be held at
the National Stadium in all circumstances. If there were to be
a London Olympic Games focused on East London, with an Olympic
village in East London, it would arguably be significantly more
practical for the opening and closing ceremonies to take place
at a venue close to the Olympic village, principally because approximately
10,000 athletes would need to be transported to and gathered around
the ceremony location. The shorter the distance from the Olympic
village to the ceremony, the more easily and more efficiently
the athletes will be transported. Indeed, it is not yet clear
(as the designs for Wembley stadium have yet to be finalised)
whether the stadium in football mode would have sufficient space
to accommodate an opening or closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.