Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

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 inquiries.


  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.


  2.1  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.

January 2001

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