Supplementary memorandum submitted by
Mr Patrick Carter, Lee Valley Stadium Review Team
1. When will the full report be published?
The publication of the report is a matter for
Sport England and the Government.
2. The report identifies a number of
stresses on any host of an IAAF World Athletics Championships
(WCA): physical demands on the host city; costs of facilities
and infrastructure; lower profile of the games following an Olympics
(such as in 2005); high expectations; the retention of the rights
to nearly all commercial income by the IAAF; lower resources disbursed
by the IAAF (eg for athletes' accommodation). In the course of
your review did the review team form a view as to whether the
IAAF championships were worth pursuing from a commercial point
The report makes clear that the Championships
will require substantial subsidy wherever they are held.
3. What advice did the review team seek,
and from whom, on the likelihood that the IAAF would agree to
a request to move the 2005 WCA outside London?
In accordance with its terms of reference, the
Review Team examined alternatives to Picketts Lock outside London,
once it became clear that there was no London venue likely to
be certain of delivery by 2005 in a more cost-effective way than
Picketts Lock. The Review team was aware from discussions with
officials from DCMS and Sport England as well as UK Athletics
that the IAAF might not agree to a move from London.
4. The report recommended that the Government
should "consider the risk of withdrawing from the event".
What elements did the review team envisage within this "risk"?
Did the team make any assessment of this
risk, or its component parts, itself? What advice did the team
seek on this point?
The Review Team received representations, notably
from the British Olympic Association, to the effect that failure
to hold the Championships in London in 2005 would damage Britain's
reputation as a country which could be relied on to deliver an
international undertaking. The Review Team did not quantify the
5. The report states that "a commitment
was made to host the 2005 WCA before the full implications were
known". Did the team form a view as to the balance between
"implications" that were unknowable within the time
available, and those that were not investigated adequately?
The Review Team did not systematically distinguish
between what might reasonably have been predicted prior to and
what happened subsequent to the decision to offer a venue for
the Championships at Picketts Lock. We believe that there has
been a general readiness to bid for major events without the implications
being thoroughly investigated and a realistic budget set. That
was the case with the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and again
for the World Athletics Championships in 2005. The problems over
spectator transport, athletes accommodation and the quality pressures
arising from the Sydney Olympics, the Edmonton World Athletics
and in prospect from the Commonwealth Games could not have been
entirely foreseen when the decision to go to Picketts Lock was
6. Mr Carter told the Committee on 16
October that in reviewing the Lee Valley Stadium and the 2005
WCA he was "not looking at whether a platform worked at Wembley
because the time for that had passed" and "the Wembley
option was not there" (Q112). Can you confirm that Wembley
was not assessed as an alternative venue for the 2005 WCA in the
course of the Lee Valley Stadium review?
The Review Team did not examine the merits of
a platform solution at Wembley but did confirm the view that a
stadium could not be reliably built at Wembley in time for the
7. Did the review team consider athletics
on a platform at any stadium?
The Review team did not consider athletics on
a platform at any stadium. We understand that, subsequent to the
report, Manchester City Council briefly considered the possibility
of offering a platform at the City of Manchester Stadium as an
option for 2005.
8. On 16 October, when asked why the
UK needed a stadium such as Picketts Lock, Patrick Carter told
us that he "could find no policy that said why we did these
things" and he did "not know whether there is a policy
to pursue major events and back then up financially or not".
Is this a fair criticism of the policy context?
UK Sport currently responsible for the UK's
policy and strategy for major events. Why was there no contact
between the review team and UK Sport during the course of the
UK Sport's responsibilities for major events
do not extend to its having the funds necessary to support the
facilities and operational costs of the largest international
events. In consequence their role has not been large in the case
of the World Athletics Championships. The Review Team received
many representatives during the Review. During the Review Patrick
Carter met Sir Rodney Walker, who is Chairman of UK Sport, but
their discussions were largely confined to his responsibilities
as Chairman of Wembley National Stadium Ltd. Robert Raine, a member
of the Review Team, had a telephone conversation with Richard
Callicot, Chief Executive of UK Sport, to discuss UK Sport's potential
involvement in the event organisation agreement.
9. As the review team will have been
aware the previous Committee, other commentators and the Lee Valley
National Athletics Centre team itself, identified transport and
funding issues as major obstacles to the Picketts Lock proposal
almost from the beginning of the project. What information or
analysis in the report does the review team regard as new findings?
The Review Team believes that the problems over
athletes' accommodation, the scale of the spectator transport
difficulties and the likely cost of the Championships were not
known at the outset of the project.
31 October 2001