Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Executive Summary



    —  Experience of planning Manchester 2002 has highlighted the significant physical demands on the host city

    —  Costs associated with providing facilities and infrastructure for, and hosting, an international sport event which has never been hosted in this country, and for an untested venue, are by nature not capable of accurate forecasting.


    —  The World Championships in Athletics do not have the same profile as the Olympic Games, but they are a leading world sporting event

    —  It is arguable that the popularity of the Championships peaked in 1993-95 and that events following an Olympics (eg 2005) are less attractive than those preceding an Olympics

    —  There is only one precedent of a stadium purposes built for the Championships and, by 2005, only two of the last six Championships will have been hosted in Capital Cities.


    —  A commitment was made to host the 2005 WCA before the full implications were known

    —  Since then the anticipated cost to the public sector of providing the facility and running the event has increased, and there is a high risk that other interventions will be necessary to deal with shortcomings in accommodation and transport provision

    —  Government should decide whether the need to honour its commitment outweighs the significant risk that the 2005 WCA will be a poor quality event with very large financial implications. However, there does not appear to be another suitable London site

    —  The Review Team believes it would be bad value for money to spend £112 million capital plus significant ongoing revenue funding to provide a venue for a 10 day event

    —  The limited nature of the projected Picketts Lock event profile, together with the threat to the future of regional stadiums of moving key events to Picketts Lock call into question the need for a National Athletic Centre

    —  The current operating budget for staging the 2005 Championships is necessarily based on a high degree of estimation, as strategies in key areas are as yet undefined, and therefore carries a high degree of risk

    —  Manchester 2002, Paris 2003 and Athens 2004 could raise expectations and therefore the specification for 2005

    —  The Review Team has added income contingencies of £1.5 million and cost contingencies of £18.5 million for the £6.7 million commercial revenue budget and £26.1 million cost budget. A capital contingency of £10 million has been added

    —  The degree of accuracy with which the operational costs can be forecast will be higher for a tested venue than for an untested one such as Picketts Lock


    —  If Government intends to enter into the contract for the 2005 WCA on the basis of a Picketts Lock location, the transport and accommodation provision and budgets require urgent investigation. It is however, unlikely that the financial implications will be fully known before a commitment must be made

    —  A decision must be reached quickly in order to begin the long design and build process allowing time after handover for test events. Delays could rule out certain of the options, and add to the cost

    —  Move the event if the IAAF agree

    —  If the IAAF will not agree, Government should consider the risk of withdrawing from the event

    —  UK Athletics and the Sports Councils should consider an alternative investment in athletics development, using the savings from not holding the WCA at Picketts Lock.

August 2001

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Prepared 20 November 2001