Memorandum submitted by Sheffield City
1.1 In response to the request for written
evidence by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Sheffield's
submission will focus in the following areas:
Issues for Sheffield/Local Authorities.
Athletics events in the United Kingdom.
1.2 Sheffield has had significant involvement
in the event business since 1990. Prior to this our involvement
had revolved around the World Snooker Championships and professional
1.3 The investment of £39 million in
high quality state of the art sports facilities for the World
Student Games in 1991 provided a platform and catalyst for the
city to develop its Major Sports Events Programme.
1.4 Since 1990 the city has staged over
430 national and international events. This programme of events
16 World Championships;
15 European Championships;
65 International Championships;
1.5 Significant events that have taken place
during this period include:
World Student Games 1991;
European Swimming Championships 1993;
World Snooker Championships;
World Master Swimming 1996;
World Speed Skating Championships
Women's World Team Squash Championships
1.6 In delivering such an extensive programme
the city has developed a world-wide reputation for staging international
sports events. It has developed the skill and expertise to assist
event owners in delivering high-class events.
1.7 The role of attracting and staging the
events in Sheffield falls to the City Councils Major Sports Events
Unit. To assist them in carrying out this function they have developed
excellent working arrangements with Sheffield International Venues,
Destination Sheffield and the voluntary and business sector within
1.8 Sheffield's strategy for the attraction
and staging of major sports events is straightforward. Each individual
event is evaluated against criteria set by the city with respect
to its programme. This indicates the suitability or otherwise
of the event to the city in terms of satisfying and achieving
the key aims and objectives of the programme. (Details of the
aims and objectives have been made available to previous inquiries.
These are available if required).
2. THE EVENT
2.1 Major sports events has both a national
and international dimension. At both levels risk and uncertainties
are present. This can be in respect of performance quality, spectator
support levels, sponsorship availability, TV coverage etc.
2.2 The range of organisations that now
have an interest and involvement complicates the sports events
market. These can include national and international governing
bodies, broadcast organisations, companies involved with sport
sponsorship, sports marketing, sports management and sports technology.
2.3 The significance and benefits of hosting
major sports events have become recognised across the world. As
a result the competition for staging such events is increasing
at a national and international level.
2.4 This competition has resulted in the
International Governing bodies being in a very strong position
with numerous countries/cities often bidding to stage an event.
They are now expecting more from national federations and in return
from host cities.
2.5 The United Kingdom Sports Council role
of lead agency responsible for events in this country has resulted
in a much more cohesive and objective strategy for the staging
of events. However events that fall outside their criteria for
Lottery funding (eg masters events and national championships)
still have no element of control nationally.
3. BIDDING FOR
3.1 The international governing bodies of
sport differ in who they will accept bids from. In many cases
bids have to be received from the national federation of a sport.
Others will except bids direct from a host city.
3.2 If it is a multi-sports event it is
often acceptable for bids to be received from a host city but
in single sport events the bids are in the main required from
the national federation.
3.3 The development of international bids
are made by the host city and national federations. Even though
there are Lottery funds to support bids local authorities often
still have to resource considerable elements of this. For national
events the host city meet the total cost of the bid.
3.4 Prior to the bid being submitted a contract/agreement
in writing between the City Council and the governing body will
be finalised, clearly setting out the division of responsibility
and level of financial commitment. This exercise will be repeated
with all other agencies involved in the proposed event.
3.5 Sheffield has enjoyed the support of
many organisations when bidding for international sporting events.
The two city universities, local hotels and restaurants, Destination
Sheffield the city visitor and conference bureau, the Sheffield
Chambers of Commerce and Trade and many local businesses have
all at some stage provided support for bids.
4. STAGING OF
4.1 The agreement reached between the City
Council and governing body prior to bidding for the event will
have identified the division of responsibilities for staging and
managing the event.
4.2 In Sheffield's experience the expertise
available from within the governing bodies towards staging the
events differ greatly. This also includes the range of skills
available. An increasing number of governing bodies are contracting
with private event promoters to carry out the delivery of their
4.3 Through the experience and expertise
available within the city from hosting in excess of 430 events
over the past 10 years, we identify the areas of support that
will compliment those of the governing body concerned.
4.4 The range of services that we can provide
to assist a governing body include: event planning, financial
management, marketing, accommodation, accreditation, protocol,
securing sponsorship acquisition, publicity, promotion, transportation,
communication, catering, media etc.
4.5 These agreed services are then delivered
through the work of professional full time staff within the Sports
Events Unit. The support of contracted staff and the work of locally
recruited volunteers compliment this.
4.6 As a result of previous major events
in the city such as the World Student Games, Special Olympics
etc. we have a database of volunteers that have vast experience
in such events. The value of such people has recently been highlighted
in the successful staging of the Sydney Olympics.
4.7 These individuals often provide the
resource and infrastructure to compliment the technical expertise
provided from within the sport to run an event.
5. FUNDING FOR
5.1 The financial responsibility for the
event will have been laid down in the initial agreement prior
to bidding for the event.
5.2 The funding available to balance the
budget can come from many different sources. These include Local
Authority contributions, governing body contributions, sponsorships,
entry fees, merchandising sales, ticketing, broadcasting rights,
National Lottery revenue funding etc.
5.3 The availability of National Lottery
revenue funding through the World Class Events Programme is a
welcome addition to the possible funding sources. However with
the applications going predominantly via the governing bodies
they are looking to Local Authorities to provide the resource
that helps them meet their minimum 65 per cent funding. As a result
governing bodies are putting increased pressure on Local Authorities
(particularly with increased competition between Authorities)
to provide a greater financial contribution to support an event.
5.4 With the development of new facilities
across the country increasing due to the availability of Lottery
funds then governing bodies often have a greater choice in possible
venues for an event (eg athletics and swimming). In some cases
governing bodies are using this situation to "auction"
events to potential host cities.
5.5 Prior to the availability of revenue
funding from the National Lottery, cities such as Sheffield had
been providing finance to underwrite bids for and the staging
of events. It was hoped that the availability of the finance through
the World Class Events Programme would ease this situation. Unfortunately
this does not seem to be the case.
6. ISSUES FOR
6.1 Local Authorities accept that many benefits
are accrued from the hosting of major sports events both in terms
of direct economic impact and city marketing.
6.2 Many of the facilities that host events
are Local Authority owned and/or funded. Without the availability
of such facilities many of the events staged in this county could
not take place.
6.3 UK Sports Council provides a control
mechanism and strategy for the bidding and staging of the mega
events such as World Cup Football, World Cup Cricket etc. However
this level of event due to their very nature only take place on
a periodic basis. The core programme for many facilities and Local
Authorities lies in national governing body events (eg National
Cup Finals and international fixtures). There is no co-ordination
of strategy into the staging and placing of such events.
6.4 Facility owners obviously have the responsibility
of maintaining and keeping facilities at a level suitable for
international competitions. This often requires considerable resource
and forward planning. In considering this investment, facility
owners will be looking for commitments from national governing
bodies concerning future usage. Sheffield's recent experiences
(particularly with athletics) is that governing bodies rather
than make such commitments to a city, they use the supply of facilities
to extract additional resources from host cities. With the future
uncertainties cities such as Sheffield may decide that necessary
investments can no longer be made.
6.5 Sheffield built their facilities suitable
for staging major sports events prior to the availability of National
Lottery funding. As a result Sheffield City Council has a continuing
debt burden for these facilities of £22 million per annum.
Cities such as Manchester will have received considerable funding
from the National Lottery and as a result may still have the availability
of resources to direct towards bidding and hosting events. There
seems to be no recognition of this by event owners when negotiating
with potential host cities.
7.1 To stage the World Athletics Championships
in 2005 UK Athletics are looking at the development of a national
stadium at Picketts Lock.
7.2 Sheffield is concerned at the impact
on the location of athletics events within the UK arising not
only from the development of this facility but also in the policies
adapted by the sport for the allocation of international status
7.3 In recent meetings with UK Athletics
they have indicated that domestic televised events will still
be allocated around the country. We are not convinced that this
will be the case when the National Stadium is built. If it is,
what will take place at the National Stadium?
7.4 At present UK Athletics has assigned
the marketing rights and operational delivery of their events
to an agency (Fast Track). They run a programme of events including
the four international fixtures (Grand Prix, Grand Prix II, Championship
Trials and International Match).
7.5 In looking at the allocation of the
events they have adapted a competitive process between facility
owners that looks to provide the greatest financial return to
them and UK Athletics.
7.6 This process has no clear tender of
bidding structure and gives no details on the basis that decisions
in allocating the event are made.
7.7 The process has resulted in an escalating
cost to host venues/cities and has provided the uncertainty of
events mentioned in 6.4.
7.8 Venues such as Don Valley Stadium are
left with the uncertainty of whether they will stage an event
even though the city has supported British Athletics since being
built in 1990.
7.9 Even though the venue had the highest
crowds for events each year in the country between 1990 and 1998
it has not been allocated an International fixture in 1999, 2000,
7.10 As a result Don Valley with a capacity
of 25,000 (the same proposed figure for Picketts Lock following
the 2005 World Championship) has an uncertain future for athletics
(and no control over this) whilst £60 million will be ploughed
to develop a facility of similar size.
7.11 There is a concern that the situation
that now applies in athletics may well be repeated in other sports.
7.12 This position gives Sheffield no incentive
to continue with the significant investment in supplying not only
athletic events but also other facilities that support many sports
that has resulted in the delivery of 430 sports events.