Sport/ Legacies from Olympics (Supplementary) [3]

Session date: 
October 15, 2003
Question By: 
Meg Hillier
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Barbara Cassani (Chair of the Olympic Bid Company)

Question

Thank you, Chair. I have two quick points. One is the size of the stadium, because there is some speculation that because it is only required to be so large for the opening ceremony that if the opening ceremony were done differently then the stadium could be smaller. I wonder if you can comment on that possibility or where your thinking is on that?

Secondly, there is the issue of legacy funding, particularly for sporting groups in London. I know it is not a requirement for the technical bid questionnaire for January, but have you had any thoughts yet about how the funding mechanism may be set up to help fund and support sport at grass roots' levels, particularly with young people?

Answer

Answer for Sport/ Legacies from Olympics (Supplementary) [3]

Answer for Sport/ Legacies from Olympics (Supplementary) [3]

Answered By: 
Barbara Cassani (Chair of the Olympic Bid Company)

The size of the stadium is an issue where there is a lot of debate going on in the team. We have not come to any final conclusions. In the masterplanning work, in a sense we are putting the largest footprint that would be necessary. We are talking around a 90,000 footprint. But we are also investigating what the potential use for the stadium would be afterwards, and the cost of reducing the size of the stadium. But it is very expensive to reduce the size; it is not one of those easy things that takes a couple of million quid and you have it reduced to 40,000 seats.

So we do not have an answer to it yet, but we are very mindful that the total cost of getting it to the right size needs to be considered in any proposal we look at. So no final decision has been taken. That decision will be taken with whoever runs the stadium afterwards.

As far as the legacy funding is concerned, it is a great question. Right now we are learning what has happened in other Games. We have a number of people working with us who have worked on expensive Games where capital funds have been set aside and the funds are used to run projects; and with others where grants have been primarily to the Olympic Association, as happened in Sydney. There are many different models.

But I am also very mindful of the fact that we need to keep the cost of the Games down. So when you create a fund, the fund has to come from someone. I hear about lovely ideas like making tickets free to children or free to citizens, but if you make tickets free then someone else has to pay or we need to scale down the size.

So I think throwing all these ideas out right now is a great idea, but we have not reached the right balance yet, and your views will help inform us as to what the right balance is.