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


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 of view?

  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 risk.

  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 taken.

  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 2005 Championships.

  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 review?

  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

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 20 November 2001