Football would avert white elephant danger at Olympic Stadium, says David Hornby

Former Visit London commercial director and England 2018 technical consultant, David Hornby has weighed into the debate surrounding the Olympic Stadium legacy decision.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company has postponed its decision on the preferred bid for the Stadium post 2012.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company has postponed its decision on the preferred bid for the Stadium post 2012.

Writing exclusively for C&IT, Hornby believes football should have been taken seriously as a legacy option as soon the original plans for an athletics-focused 25,000-seat stadium were scrapped, leaving a 60,000-seat use as the only viable alternative. 

"When no anchor tenant or business partners were forthcoming, this athletics legacy promise for the stadium should have been rethought and alternatives discussed. That debate never happened. Now, West Ham has been left vying to keep a promise to stage an unsustainable sport at the expense of every football supporter’s match-day experience," Hornby said.

"There is no sport in the world that can sustain a stadium of 60,000 seats better than football. But as with any event, you can’t have a 45-metre distance between an audience and the action. That’s what we’ll have if athletics remains incorporated in the legacy plans for the Olympic Stadium – a 45-metre distance between the goal and the nearest spectator seat.

"White elephants are created when Olympic bid book plans are not allowed to evolve within a changing landscape," he continued. "The bid, which has the spectator experience and a sustainable future for the Olympic Stadium at its heart is, in my view, the only clear-cut choice. But whichever football club gets the nod, it should not distract from asking, "why wasn’t football invited to the 2012 legacy table sooner?"

To read the full blog entitled, ‘The Olympic Stadium legacy choice must not handcuff football or hamstring athletics’, click here.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
How events can save the world

Crisis planning, sustainability, wellbeing and inclusion can cause difficulties for event organisers. So is it possible to host a truly ethical event?

Wellbeing makes 'good business sense'

Wellbeing makes 'good business sense'

Annie Metcalfe from Clear Partners says planners must adapt to the changing demands of incentive travel programmes.

Amex GBT appoints new general manager for meetings and events

Amex GBT appoints new general manager for meetings and events

Gerardo Tejado has held a number of commercial and client management roles at American Express GBT over the past 17 years.

Incentives are coming: 7 Game of Thrones-inspired destinations

Incentives are coming: 7 Game of Thrones-inspired destinations

From Croatia to Northern Ireland, the fictional land of Westeros has filming locations around the world ideal for meetings and events.

What does an HR expert look for in Best Places to Work accreditation?

What does an HR expert look for in Best Places to Work accreditation?

An independent HR consultant explains what judges are looking for in accreditation like C&IT's Best Places to Work.

Events budgets return to steady growth, Bellwether Report finds

Events budgets return to steady growth, Bellwether Report finds

UK companies increased their marketing spend in Q1 2019, in contrast to flatlining budgets at the end of last year.

'Unlocking the best parts of destinations' is key for event planners

'Unlocking the best parts of destinations' is key for event planners

Venues should use their expertise to help familiarise planners with a new destination, says panel at the C&IT Association Forum.

Case study: CoinGeekWeek conference

Case study: CoinGeekWeek conference

CoinGeek transformed The Mermaid London for its three-day conference on cryptocurrency and blockchain.

New senior account manager for Top Banana

New senior account manager for Top Banana

Natalie Benson joins from ACA Live and will work on finance, automotive and retail accounts.

Facial recognition will change the way we measure audience engagement

Facial recognition will change the way we measure audience engagement

This kind of technology could scientifically prove the value and impact of events, says Dan Broadberry from Brands at Work.

LATEST JOBS