Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence


COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2002—HEADING FOR SUCCESS

Further supplementary memorandum submitted by Manchester City Council and Manchester 2002 Limited

  When Manchester successfully bid for the right to host the Commonwealth Games in 1995, four key criteria were laid down for the delivery of a successful Games.

1.  THAT THEY SHOULD BE AN INTERNATIONAL SPORTING EVENT OF WORLD STATUS

  Two things are needed to ensure this status—the best facilities and the best competitors. The 2002 Commonwealth Games will be focused on a cluster of venues within the purpose-built Sportcity complex. The Velodrome, the English Institute of Sport and the City of Manchester Stadium will represent the finest single site collection of sporting facilities certainly in the UK and possibly in Europe. Add to this the Manchester Aquatics Centre—again brand new and the first pool in the UK to host two 50m pools—the new Hockey and new Bowls facilities, and the Games will see a mix of the very highest standards of new and existing venues that will attract the world's best sportsmen and women.

  Manchester City Council, in partnership with Sport England, is responsible for the delivery of the new facilities and is absolutely confident that they will be ready on schedule.

    —  The Manchester Aquatics Centre is already open and being used by the public and elite athletes alike. The Manchester International Convention Centre is now complete, and works to Heaton Park and Belle Vue will be completed well before the end of this year;

    —  The Stadium has 87 per cent of its work packages let and remains well on track to achieve substantial completion by December of this year when Manchester 2002 Limited (M2002) will take access for final fit out and overlay to Games mode—practical completion will take place in March 2002;

    —  The English Institute for Sport, which includes the Indoor Tennis Centre and the National Squash Centre and an indoor 200m athletics track, began construction in January of this year—with practical completion on target for early next year.

  What calibre of sporting action can the British public expect to see in these venues? In both individual and team events the answer is the very best.

    —  Three of the sports—Squash, Netball and Bowls are equivalent to world championships, whilst in Hockey and Rugby 7's, the very best teams are drawn from the Commonwealth;

    —  Right through the Athletics programme, from Ato Boldon to Obadele Thomson in the 100m to our own Denise Lewis in the Heptathlon there will potentially be a very strong cast indeed;

    —  In total 88 medallists in Sydney were from Commonwealth countries—the majority of whom we expect to welcome to Manchester next year;

    —  We are expecting some 5,000 athletes and team officials from 72 competing nations across 17 sports—making the Manchester Games the biggest Commonwealth Games ever;

    —  And, with all the competition and training venues within 30 minutes travel time of the Athletes' Village (with the exception of Shooting) we know the foundations are in place to attract the very best by providing the very best.

2.  THAT THE GAMES SHOULD LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY

  One of the primary reasons why Manchester bid for the Games was, and remains, a firm belief that sport can play a pivotal role in social and economic regeneration. Sportcity is located in East Manchester—just over 20 minutes walk from the city centre—yet one of the most deprived areas in the country.

  The investment in the Games that Manchester City Council has made is based on sound financial and economic planning:

    —  On top of the £145 million in new sporting facilities—all of which have a long term community and elite usage in future—an estimated further £200 million of private sector investment will create a new "Town Centre" alongside Sportcity combining retail, leisure and new housing;

    —  An independent evaluation report from KPMG has predicted the creation of over 5,000 10 year equivalent jobs being created in the area. This will be the product of over 10 years of planning, of vibrant public and private sector partnership and of a regeneration strategy that has already successfully transformed much of Manchester in recent years. A regeneration company, New East Manchester Limited, is fully operational, driving forward the regeneration programme.

  In Games terms too we believe we can leave a legacy—ensuring that we set a new standard in inclusivity:

    —  The 2002 Games will be the first global multi-sport event to include a programme of events for elite athletes with a disability living and competing alongside their able bodied colleagues;

    —  Manchester will also see the highest proportion yet of female athletes—41 per cent of the total competition numbers, only with Boxing, Wrestling and Rugby 7s without female representation.

  The Games has one other legacy which we must, and will, ensure is created. The ability of the UK to attract future high profile events, particularly the Olympics, is directly linked to the success of the 2002 Games in Manchester—the stakes are very high but so are the potential rewards.

3.  THE GAMES SHOULD BE THE CATALYST FOR A NATIONAL FESTIVAL OF SPORTING AND CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS.

  2002 is the year of Her Majesty The Queen's Golden Jubilee, and the Commonwealth Games will be the national culmination of those celebrations.

  Whilst the focus and expertise of M2002 remains directed to the core objective of the Games themselves, we have been delighted that so many groups and organisations wish to use the Commonwealth Games as the catalyst for new initiatives celebrating the Commonwealth's sporting and cultural heritage.

  The plans for the Spirit of Friendship Festival, entirely funded outside of the Games budget, have now crystallised into four "themed" areas. Highlights include:

    —  a £1 million DfEE schools campaign which will put the Commonwealth Games into 30,000 schools across the UK from September this year; and

    —  a £3 million grass roots sporting programme—including a regional Youth Games, to be funded by Sport England.

  By the time of the Games we believe that the Spirit of Friendship Festival will have placed the Commonwealth Games firmly on the agenda of every household, school, club, town and city in the country—which can only be good news for the Games, whether measured by ticket sales, merchandise sales or levels of general public interest.

4.  THAT THE GAMES SHOULD BE BOTH A COMMERCIAL AND CRITICAL SUCCESS

  The Organising Committee is working hard to match its operating budget with commercial income—Sponsorship, Broadcast Rights, Ticketing and Licensing.

  This is an ambitious target in the light of comparable sporting events in the UK and previous Commonwealth Games, but good progress is being made.

  To put this into context, our previous submission indicated that there is revenue in place totalling £18 million two years out from the event yet already more than either the 1999 Rugby Union World Cup or the Cricket World Cup generated in total sponsorship.

  Since then, our committed commercial revenue has leapt to £30 million—which includes our overseas TV rights sales to Channel 7 in Australia and TVNZ in New Zealand and two sponsorship agreements with global brands.

  These announcements mean progress continues ahead of our financial planning assumptions. Detailed negotiations are underway across all the key sectors and M2002 are confident of continuing to achieve additional sponsorship right up until the Games. Ticketing and licensing revenue will be achieved largely in 2002.

  To ensure maximum public support and attendance at our Games we have developed a ticketing philosophy of "full stadia at fair prices"—a strategy to maximise attendance.

  In licensing, we are working alongside experts from Sydney to develop a truly national retail programme, supported by the Spirit of Friendship Festival.

  In sponsorship we are working with companies who add real value and risk reduction alongside their sponsorship commitment. Adecco, as well as being the world's largest employment agency, has managed the volunteer recruitment and training exercise at major events before, including Euro 2000, Sydney 2000 and Atlanta 1996. Atlantic are an international company, 30 per cent owned by Marconi, who are building for the Games—and at no cost to the Games—a bespoke Games communication network using dedicated dark fibre and state of the art technology.

  We believe the Commonwealth Games will capture the imagination of the public in a way no event has managed before. We will achieve this by delivering a quality product supported throughout 2002 by appropriate national marketing campaigns. Not just those of M2002—but through those of the 17 competing sports who between them have over 1.5 milion registered club members and many millions more unaffiliated participants. Through the Spirit of Friendship Festival which has the potential to reach into the homes and lives of millions. Through our media partners, and through the marketing collateral of our sponsor family.

  Sydney has set new standards, and expectations, for all multi-sport events have soared as a result. The Commonwealth Games is not the Olympics, but we can benefit from the experience of a number of key managers recently recruited directly from Sydney, to take what is applicable and overlay this on to our own plans. What we can certainly do, is to deliver an event that engenders the same sense of pride and involvement and delivers the same levels of sporting excellence and home medal successes.

  The foundations are in place for us to succeed in our shared aspiration that the UK will never again need to look with envy at how others rise to the challenge of hosting major events. In the autumn of 2002 we confidently predict that future bid cities and countries will look back and say "we want to do a Manchester".

March 2001


 
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