Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 3

Memorandum submitted by Birmingham City Council

1.  INTRODUCTION

  1.1  Over the last decade Birmingham has staged over 100 World, European and International events.

  1.2  The majority of these are attributed to the range of first class facilities provided by Birmingham City Council in conjunction with private sector investment.

  1.3  Birmingham has a modern Test Match Cricket Arena at Edgbaston, home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, and two all seater football stadia at Villa Park and St Andrews.

  1.4  The development of the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) site in 1972 added to the range of facilities available for staging major events with the further development of the NEC Arena in 1980, specially designed for pop concerts and arena seated sporting events.

  1.5  In 1991 Birmingham opened the National Indoor Arena for Sport, developed under the guidelines of the Sports Council's technical publication "Arenas—a Planning Design and Management Guide" published 1989. This gave the City a technically superior arena designed specifically to appeal to Sports Governing Bodies, for which a specialists sales force was created.

2.  DEVELOPMENT

  2.1  The sales team, all of whom had a background in sport, were seconded to work alongside colleagues from exhibitions and events, combining the necessary skills of aggressive business with an understanding of the sporting fraternity. This group of individuals started to bid for events in 1989, fully two years before the planned opening date.

  2.2  Birmingham discovered early on that there was a need to bring a business approach to the ad hoc process previously adopted by Governing Bodies of Sport to secure events. This was also becoming frustrating for the Sports Council and the BBC, with an expectation of support for these events without any strategic planning, or in most cases consideration of the financial implications.

  2.3  Birmingham quickly became aware of these difficulties, and guided their clients through the maze of necessary bureaucracy and applications required in each case.

  2.4  At the same time other cities around the world were also awakening to the benefits of staging international events, and many Governing Bodies were experiencing the competitive environment of professionally produced pressure bids.

  2.5  Despite this level of competition the liaison between Governing Bodies of Sport, Birmingham City Council and the NIA resulted in a very successful 10 year period of staging major events in the City.


NIA/NEC
Worlds
European
Int
National
Regional

1991
3
0
7
1
0
1992
2
0
10
16
9
1993
2
0
9
8
27
1994
0
2
5
15
39
1995
2
1
7
17
23
1996
0
0
5
11
27
1997
1
0
9
10
22
1998
1
0
9
10
22
1999
2
1
12
9
26
2000
0
1
8
11
20
Total
13
5
81
108
215

City
Worlds
European
Int
National
Regional

1991
2
1
4
6
5
1992
1
1
3
10
6
1993
1
1
5
8
5
1994
0
1
2
7
4
1995
0
0
2
12
4
1996
0
1
3
14
7
1997
0
1
2
22
8
1998
1
0
4
18
10
1999
0
0
10
19
7
2000
1
0
9
20
8
Total
6
6
44
136
64
Grand Total
19
11
125
244
279
678

3.  WORLD INDOOR ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2003

3.1  Background

  3.1.1  The National Indoor Arena for Sport was built with a specific brief for hosting International Athletics Events. The building can accommodate a six lane de-mountable track, along with a design that gives spectators an unprecedented view of the activity. This is especially remarkable considering the logistics of the bank curve at both ends and the requirement to have differing seating layouts for other events.

  3.1.2  Having developed a specialist facility for Sport and specifically Athletics, the sales team was determined to secure a World or European Athletics Championship. For most of the decade internal politics proved too difficult for this to happen.

  3.1.3  However, in November 1999, following the development of the Major Events Steering Group within UK Sport, the City decided to embark again at securing World and European events.

  3.1.4  The possibility of help and support that would be forthcoming for bidding and securing major events through Lottery funding was a major factor in taking this forward.

  3.1.5  Initial meetings proved particularly beneficial for Birmingham City Council, as the strategic approach to early planning and financial budgeting with advice from officers of UK Sport helped to secure the necessary comfort to allow the City to proceed further.

  3.1.6  This approach ultimately secured the 2003 World Indoor Athletics Championships for Great Britain.

3.2  BIDDING PROCESS

  3.2.1  In accordance with experience, early advice was sought from UK Athletics, and a bid proposal was drawn together. This consisted of a video presentation of the venue and the City, which included BBC footage of recent events and records achieved in Great Britain. A Bid Brochure was mailed to every delegate prior to the Congress, and a slide presentation prepared to support the formal presentation to the IAAF Council.

  3.2.2  At the start of the plan to bid for 2003 Indoors it quickly became apparent that a simultaneous bid was being mounted for the 2005 Outdoor Championships. As both bids were to appear on the same agenda, it was agreed to harness resources and present a joint UK bid for both 2003 and 2005. The argument being, that it made good sense to host the Indoors in 2003 to build up a level of expertise to stage a successful Outdoor Event in 2005.

  3.2.3  The initial estimated cost of the Lottery Proposal was:

Bid Document
£5,000
Travel
£2,000
Accommodation
£1,800
Cost of Bid Team
£3,000
Delivery of Bid
£1,000
Meetings, Rehearsals, Consultancy
£1,500
Total
£14,300


  The actual costs incurred were:

Bid Document
£5,690.00
Video
£2,132.80
Travel
£2,432.00
Accommodation
£1,525.00
Cost of Bid Team
£13,033.40
Delivery of Bid
£672.80
Meetings, Rehearsals, Consultancy
£1,682.95
Total
£23,768.95


  The additional costs were incurred as better intelligence was received about the bidding competition, and from the perceived need to increase the type of nature of the bid from that originally agreed with the Major Events Steering Group (MESG) and Sports Lottery Board.

3.3  THE EVENT

  3.3.1  The reorganisation of Birmingham City Council under the Government's Modernising Agenda and the creation of a Leisure Culture and Tourism Department has brought about a change within the City where all sport is now collectively together within a new Sport and Leisure Division.

  3.3.2  The City Council will place the responsibility for this event with the Assistant Director for Sport and it is the intention to second officers from various departments to work on the organisation of the Championships from 1 January 2001.

4.  COMMENTS ON THE REPORT—STAGING INTERNATIONAL SPORTING EVENTS

  4.1  Birmingham fully supports the Government's view that if Great Britain is to successfully bid for the Olympic Games and other major sporting events, then the country has to be at the heart of international sport.

  4.2  The City welcomes a one-stop shop approach, combining capital investment to be supported in a joined up approach with event bids requiring revenue support. World and European Championships generally require a range of capital developments and equipment upgrades, which place additional burden on the organisers. To have these elements combined would prove advantageous to all concerned.

  4.3  Birmingham is particularly disadvantaged in bidding for major events, having invested early in facilities before Lottery funding became available. The current policy seriously hinders the NIA when it comes to competing against other Lottery funded facilities, because of the level of debt charge that it carries. This in turn affects the level of rent sought from the Governing Bodies when staging events.

  4.4  The City has been at the forefront of combining a sports development continuum with the events that have been successfully staged in conjunction with Governing Bodies. This requires prime consideration.

5.  CONCLUSION

  5.1  Birmingham has a vast range of experiences, and would be delighted to report more formally to the Committee. The economic impact of Birmingham's involvement in sport is now well evidenced with developments around the National Indoor Arena in Broad Street and beyond. Sport is now a major part of the City's strategy for re-generation and urban renewal.

December 2000


 
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