Friday, 11 November 2011

London wins bid to host 2017 Athletics World Championships

London has been chosen as the host city for the 2017 World Athletics Championships.
The International Association of Athletics Federations selected London ahead of Doha at a bid presentation in Monaco by 16 votes to 10, earlier today (Friday 11 November).
It will be the first time that the World Athletics Championships are to be held in the UK and marks the first major tournament confirmed for the Olympic Stadium post London 2012.
Speaking from Monaco, The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "Despite an excellent challenge from Doha, the London team put together a cracking bid which has paid off. With the 2017 championships now in the diary, next summer’s London Games is just the start of a long and active life for our magnificent stadium."
Over the last decade, London has transformed itself to become recognised globally as a leading city for major sporting events. Other successful bids for major sporting events post 2012 include the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final, the 2013 ITU World Championship Series Triathlon Grand Final and the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships.
Based on the success of London 2012’s International Inspiration Project, London 2017 has revealed the international legacy programme that will now be launched following the city's successful bid to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships. 
LEAP 2017 has been designed to engage two million children in athletics across 17 developing countries over four years.
A huge congratulations to everyone involved with the successful London 2017 bid.

Monday, 7 November 2011

London's sporting legacy is put to the vote this week in Monaco

In Monaco, on 11 November, the 27-strong IAAF voting panel will decide between London and Doha as the host city for the 2017 athletics World Championships.

In October, my bosses at London & Partners hosted the evaluation committee of the world governing body for track and field, on a two-day visit to the UK capital to assess our bid to stage this prestigious event.

Whilst in town, IAAF Senior Vice-President, Bob Hersh heaped praise on London's ‘world-class’ stadium. Importantly, he also lauded the city's passion and commitment for hosting a successful World Championships.

Recognising our passion and commitment for staging major sporting events is important for London. The city takes sport seriously. It has been working hard to build a sporting legacy that goes beyond next summer’s Olympic Games and includes a £30million Sporting Legacy Fund to attract grass-roots participation into every bid secured.

London's success stories to date include securing the 2013 Triathlon World Championship Grand Final in Hyde Park and the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships, which was the first major event to be confirmed for an Olympic venue after the Games.

Other bids currently on the table and awaiting outcomes include a Track Cycling World Cup in 2014/15, the 2015 Hockey European Championships, the 2016 Swimming European Championships and the Table Tennis World Championships in 2017.

This year, London has hosted the Yonex BWF World Badminton Championships at Wembley Arena and one of the seven-legs of the Triathlon World Championship Series.

Individually, these two events showcased London to a far reaching global fan-base. Combined, they generated more than £5million of economic impact.

London also staged the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley Stadium in May this year. A crowd of 87,695 well behaved football fans from Spain and Manchester created a carnival atmosphere that was supplemented by a week-long Champions Festival in Hyde Park.

According to a report backed by MasterCard, the football match itself was worth around £326million, which included an economic windfall for London of €52million generated through spending in restaurants, bars and at the stadium.

London’s reward for the spectacular success of the Champions League final is to host the event again in 2013. It will be a record seventh time the match has been staged in one venue.

London will also stage the 2013 UEFA Women’s Champions League final and the XXXVII Ordinary UEFA Congress in the days leading up to the final.

The UK capital appeals to the American version of football as well. On Sunday, 23 October, at Wembley Stadium, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on the Chicago Bears in the last of a three-season NFL International Series game agreement.

The popularity of American Football in the UK and Europe has rocketed ever since the Giants played the Dolphins in 2007. Over half a million people applied for tickets for each of the subsequent three seasons.

London sees no reason why its association with the NFL should end here and even harbours aspirations to stage a Super Bowl final one day.

Right now though, everyone is focused on this Friday's announcement where, once-again, a committee has to decide upon a host city for a major sporting event.

According to a ‘Global Major Events - 2012 & Beyond’ survey, revealed at SportAccord back in April, a World Athletics Championships was voted the second most popular sporting event to attract consumers into London. The Greatest Show on Earth was, of course, voted top.

Let’s hope, come Friday, there’s two upcoming reasons a new generation of UK athletes can become inspired.