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Newcastle and Commonwealth Games:

Could Newcastle host such an event if? If so what would we need to get up to scratch for hosting it?
In theory yes [though would almost certainly need to be Newcastle-Gateshead or even 'Tyne-Tees or Tyne 'n' Wear. Back of a fag packet we'd need to build:
  • 50m pool and diving pool - though there might be one in Sunderland. For an event like this you actually need 2 50m pools, one for competition and one for warm up. There also needs to be associated seating etc
  • Probably significant expansion of Gateshead stadium - assuming that was the athletics venue
  • An 'arena' for sports such as weightlifting, gymnastics etc
  • A velodrome
  • Athlete's village - though there are lots of vancant sity centre flats :)
  • Somewhere for the shooting [probably not that tough to find]
  • 'Infrastructure' [separate training facilities, admin, medical etc
It's possible but in this climate there's not a prayer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
In theory yes [though would almost certainly need to be Newcastle-Gateshead or even 'Tyne-Tees or Tyne 'n' Wear. Back of a fag packet we'd need to build:
  • 50m pool and diving pool - though there might be one in Sunderland. For an event like this you actually need 2 50m pools, one for competition and one for warm up. There also needs to be associated seating etc
  • Probably significant expansion of Gateshead stadium - assuming that was the athletics venue
  • An 'arena' for sports such as weightlifting, gymnastics etc
  • A velodrome
  • Athlete's village - though there are lots of vancant sity centre flats :)
  • Somewhere for the shooting [probably not that tough to find]
  • 'Infrastructure' [separate training facilities, admin, medical etc
It's possible but in this climate there's not a prayer.
Continuing the legacies from London and Manchester. If we build the venues here would we be able to make full use of them afterwards. Newcastle really needs a decent size Olympic swimming pool. A velodrome would be nice and may 'inspire a generation'. Gateshead stadium would certainly benefit as they host a few internationals anyway.

Here is an article on Manchesters stadiums:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-18983577
 

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Continuing the legacies from London and Manchester. If we build the venues here would we be able to make full use of them afterwards. Newcastle really needs a decent size Olympic swimming pool. A velodrome would be nice and may 'inspire a generation'. Gateshead stadium would certainly benefit as they host a few internationals anyway.

Here is an article on Manchesters stadiums:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-18983577
Be great but check the numbers [2002 prices]:

  • velodrome £9.5mil
  • arena £10mil
  • upgrade of all weather for hockey £3mil
  • bowling £1mil
  • squash £3.5mil
  • pool £32mil
  • warm up arena £3 mil [this is probably closer to Gateshead stadium]
  • Main stadium £112mil
Set the stadium to one side [and there's no infrastructure or athlete village] and that's £62mil
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Be great but check the numbers [2002 prices]:

  • velodrome £9.5mil
  • arena £10mil
  • upgrade of all weather for hockey £3mil
  • bowling £1mil
  • squash £3.5mil
  • pool £32mil
  • warm up arena £3 mil [this is probably closer to Gateshead stadium]
  • Main stadium £112mil
Set the stadium to one side [and there's no infrastructure or athlete village] and that's £62mil
Plus that was pre 2000 prices when they would have started building
 

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As Britain has had/will have games in Edinburgh (70 and 86), Manchester (02) and Glasgow (14), it suggests another UK city would not have a prayer until 2026/30, and then it will probably be Belfast (as Cardiff had a crack in 58), so that would give us a City of Tyneside games in 2038/42/46. This would be quite timely, as the high speed rail might have got up to Darlington by then.
 

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As Britain has had/will have games in Edinburgh (70 and 86), Manchester (02) and Glasgow (14), it suggests another UK city would not have a prayer until 2026/30, and then it will probably be Belfast (as Cardiff had a crack in 58), so that would give us a City of Tyneside games in 2038/42/46. This would be quite timely, as the high speed rail might have got up to Darlington by then.
Aye... also some of the emerging nations are more willing to chuck money at this sort of project. Not a perfect comparison but the growth in F1 comes from nations willing to pay..



Australia is no 1 in hosting [assuming you count the days when it was the jolly old Empire Games]
 

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From yesterday's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/lord-sebastian-coe-backs-north-7574671

Lord Sebastian Coe backs Newcastle and the North East bid for Commonwealth Games
Aug 06, 2014 19:01 By Mark Douglas



The mastermind behind London’s successful Olympics, Lord Sebastian Coe, believes Newcastle and the North East can stage a successful Commonwealth Games – if the city decides to bid for the event.

Glasgow’s success in hosting the Games has prompted a fresh bout of talk from influential figures that Newcastle might consider a future bid for the multi-sports event, which drew hundreds of thousands of people to the Scottish city over 10 days last month.

In an exclusive interview, Lord Coe has supported any potential bid from the city and its neighbours, arguing that the region has the desire and the wherewithal to become a credible candidate. Lord Coe will be in the North East next month to act as the official starter for the Great North Run, which will achieve a momentous milestone with its millionth finisher this year. The half marathon has beaten the likes of New York and London to become the first organised mass participation run to achieve that – and stands as proof that the city is a capable and competent host. And Lord Coe – who won and then oversaw the glittering success of London 2012 – believes that could potentially be translated into a bid for the Commonwealth Games. He would be a heavyweight ally.

“Absolutely it can. It is not unthinkable for Newcastle to be serious contenders to host the Commonwealth Games,” he said. Primarily the organisers of the Commonwealth Games want cities that understand the importance of sport and to make a success of it they need people that absolutely want to support and be part of the event. You can imagine the interest you would have from the people of the North East in being volunteers for an event like that. There also needs to be a political consensus on it. You would need bipartisan support for something like that but you could never accuse Newcastle and the North East of not investing in sport or believing in the potential of sport to make a difference to a city. The people of the North East have consistently illustrated that. I wouldn’t want people to run away with the idea that creating something as substantial as the Commonwealth Games is an easy initiative. Glasgow’s organisers will tell you they needed every second of their delivery period to make that a success.
But would the city be a realistic candidate? Absolutely if they were serious about it.”

In a wide-ranging interview Lord Coe has paid tribute to the Great North Run organiser Brendan Foster for his vision in bringing running to the masses and also claimed that Gateshead is one of an elite list of cities that have had a “seismic” effect on international athletics.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/lord-sebastian-coe-backs-north-7574671
 

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We could do this and I feel right at this time the government would back us. They would back us because they need to show that they care> everyone is feeling left out at the moment with Scotland wanting full independence. The government showing their support for us would give them 'loads'a votes' and we'd get decent transport links and infrastructure.

Then the alarm goes off.

But seriously, this would be huge for us.
 

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I sent an email 2-3 years ago to Newcastle, Sunderland, and Gateshead council saying we should think about bidding for the Commonwealth games.

It's great that we are apparently considering it, I hope though that it does lead to a fully supported bid and it isn't half hearted talk. There is no reason why we can't host it, though I would say having some venues down in Darlington/Sheffield is pushing from being realistic. Of course all existing venues would need investment as well as investment in new venues and infrastructure.
It would though leave a lasting legacy and I'd be honoured if we hosted such events.
 

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Could Newcastle really host the Commonwealth games?

Courtesy of the Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/could-newcastle-really-host-commonwealth-7574543

Could Newcastle really host the Commonwealth Games?
Aug 06, 2014 19:00 By The Journal



Supporters of a potential North East Commonwealth Games have called for city and council boundaries not to get in the way of an event which could put the whole region on the world map.

As talk that the area could bid to host the 2026 global sporting spectacular increases thanks to high profile support from Lord Coe, attention is turning to whether the high hopes could actually become a reality.

Manchester held the Commonwealth Games in 2002 but England is expected to once again be a strong contender to be host nation when the 2026 nominations open. Australia’s Gold Coast will host in 2018, while 2022 will go to either Durban, South Africa, or Edmonton, Canada, with an announcement to be made next month. So 2026 would be the first opportunity for the North East to bid for an event which would cost about £400m to put on.

Malcolm Dix, president and secretary of Sport Newcastle – and a strong backer of bringing the Games to the region – says it is affordable as long as everyone pulls together. He explained: “I am very pleased to hear of Seb Coe’s support, and with the help of him, Jonathan Edwards, Brendan Foster and other key local sporting figures, we can open the door to the facilities we need. “The first thing we need to realise is that to do this, it is not just about Newcastle or Gateshead stadium – it is about the whole of Tyne and Wear. Other locations, such as Sunderland with its 50m swimming pool, will need to be involved too and I know that there is support and the cash within all the councils to do this. There is an obligation from the Government to spread the legacy of the 2012 Olympics to areas other than London and I hope Lord Coe will be able to address that. He added: “This needs to be a Tyne and Wear games. It it is not about boundaries but about the facilities we can provide. The North East has to come together and show what an amazing place this is.”

Last week, a packed Newcastle City Council chamber of business leaders, civic groups, academics and councillors gathered for the annual State of the City event in which council leader Nick Forbes suggested the region put itself forward.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/could-newcastle-really-host-commonwealth-7574543
 

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If its an english region outside London I'd put my money on 'Yorkshire', following the success and profile raising of Le Tour, and they have a lot more of the infrastructure. But as mentioned I would think we are looking at beyond 2030, although apparently there wasnt much enthusiasm or bids for 2022 so who knows.
 

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It would definitely be the North East's "turn", having missed out on the Commonwealth Games, The Capital of Culture, The Tour, a number of major lumps of investment etc...

Thing is, bearing in mind the expensive lumps of kit you're left to maintain, would we want it?!
 

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We could do this and I feel right at this time the government would back us. They would back us because they need to show that they care> everyone is feeling left out at the moment with Scotland wanting full independence. The government showing their support for us would give them 'loads'a votes' and we'd get decent transport links and infrastructure.

Then the alarm goes off.

But seriously, this would be huge for us.
It would definitely be the North East's "turn", having missed out on the Commonwealth Games, The Capital of Culture, The Tour, a number of major lumps of investment etc...

Thing is, bearing in mind the expensive lumps of kit you're left to maintain, would we want it?!
Nope and to be honest we d not get it anyway [unless we were the only bidder or against somewhere really scary]. If we got it we couldn't pay for it and we'd end up with costly white elephants.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/28693970

If it were not for the 'cough' occasional 'event' I d say Belfast deserved a go
 

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This could inspire a generation into sports, and healthy living. It could also change young lives.

Sure we would have a couple more venues, but would they really be a white elephant? How many people would have thought the aquatics centre in Sunderland would be successful?, how many people would have thought the Great North Run would do so well and last so long? Having these new venues could bring new events to the area, new investment.
More importantly though in order to host these events the government would have to make sure that supporting infrastructure was up to date and adequate. If hosting the Commonwealth games was the difference between HSR coming to the region, or the A1 being dulled, even a bit more investment in to the Metro to possibly extend it or even investments to Newcastle airport then surely it would be worth just for even 1 of those to happen?
 

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This could inspire a generation into sports, and healthy living. It could also change young lives.

Sure we would have a couple more venues, but would they really be a white elephant? How many people would have thought the aquatics centre in Sunderland would be successful?, how many people would have thought the Great North Run would do so well and last so long? Having these new venues could bring new events to the area, new investment.

More importantly though in order to host these events the government would have to make sure that supporting infrastructure was up to date and adequate. If hosting the Commonwealth games was the difference between HSR coming to the region, or the A1 being dulled, even a bit more investment in to the Metro to possibly extend it or even investments to Newcastle airport then surely it would be worth just for even 1 of those to happen?
I rest my case..... Liverpool's [or really Merseyside] has got more chance and more marginals. It's just not going to happen here.

Even if you set the money to one side [at which point the assumptions become pretty abstract] ... Gateshead couldn't even convince the great and the good to give it city status, Sunderland and Newcastle would spend 10 years arguing about the name and where you hold the opening ceremony.

At best a consultancy will be paid to put together a feasibility study [kerching, that'll be £100k, less money for schools], possibly even a bid will start and then the morning after hangover kicks in and they either go somewhere the state will fund in GB [and that 'ain't going to be here], or they go somewhere nice and sunny.

Some of my consultancy work is in sport and sport governance etc and I ve sat in more meetings than I care to think of where money has been taken out of activity in a sport and put into pointless [and expensive] studies because all in the room [myself included] have been to scared to say 'not going to happen, mad, spend the money on 'the sport', move on.

With a small cadre of evangelists for a project there is the risk of refusing and spending weeks responding to accusations of 'you're stopping the sport developing'.
 

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We don't need Gateshead to be given city status, sure Merseyside would stand more of a chance, you could list possibly anywhere else in the UK that would but the point is that shouldn't stop us.

We shouldn't make an official bid or announce our intuitions to the government for fear of rejection, if we did that then we might as well pack up now and stop making other bids for other forms of investment. Our bid for European city of culture a few years ago would never have got off the ground if we feared rejection, and yes we were beaten to it by Liverpool but the senses is that we deserved it more and should have been given it, heck Hull are even getting in on it now.

Shouldn't we try and be disappointed if we fail instead of sitting around moping that noting comes our way? Yes we will get comments on how money could have been better spent on the sports themselves or better spent elsewhere but why let that stop us?, these comments will come no matter who makes the bid. Tax payers in my age range will be paying off the Olympics for their rest of their working lives (another 40 years or so), I'd sleep a lot happier at night if I knew my taxes were going towards Tyneside and Wearside hosting the Commonwealth games with potentially new and upgrades venues.
 

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City of Gateshead is just about the most ridiculous notion ever put forward by a Local Authority in the North East.

The real question is whether people want the Commonwealth games hosted in Newcastle and Gateshead. If its 'yes' then the local authorities should get together and commission a feasibility.

It would be a fantastic opportunity to boost the city area, and so for me its a no brainer to gun for it while its a hot topic. We have a great sporting legacy and have the infrastructure to host- with a few tweaks but it would also further give impetus for further investment.

As for white elephants, SJP is more than capable of hosting the opening/closing ceremonies; It wouldn't cost too much to update and provide temporary seating for Gateshead Stadium; Sunderland has the Aquatics centre (and if they demanded it to be called the NewcastleGatesheadSunderland commonwealth games then they are idiots- they should be grateful they reside next to a bigger city and be part of something no medium sized UK city normally could be); any gymnastics/sporting centre could be integrated with replacement for the Metro Arena, any other with a GQ2 conference centre; An athlete's village could be part a housing development in the plenty of vacant plots either side of the river; We have plenty of hotels, great hospital and medical facilities. The only real potential white elephant would be a velodrome, but in light of all the other venues, integrated and future proofed with existing or anyway proposed schemes, having just one risky item is more than most.

I hate all this despondency that proliferates our region. Its this attitude that stops investment from the government and businesses from coming more than policy or bad luck.
The optimism of the millennium New Labour years is what helped the city recover from its post industrial decimation, encouraging a better city centre, vibrancy, confidence in investment from within and beyond, business start ups, tourism etc. Now we have had a battering in the latest Tory regime, but if we keep fighting and making noise, and not just sitting glum we will get at least some of what we need. The commonwealth games would be a great way of integrating the disparate regeneration aspirations into one timetable of investment, promotion and economic sustainability for our future.
 

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We don't need Gateshead to be given city status,
I meant more in terms of the success - of course it s not essential for it to be a city. I just meant that with a relatively low bar it failed.

We shouldn't make an official bid or announce our intuitions to the government for fear of rejection, if we did that then we might as well pack up now and stop making other bids for other forms of investment. Our bid for European city of culture a few years ago would never have got off the ground if we feared rejection, and yes we were beaten to it by Liverpool but the senses is that we deserved it more and should have been given it, heck Hull are even getting in on it now.

Shouldn't we try and be disappointed if we fail instead of sitting around moping that noting comes our way? Yes we will get comments on how money could have been better spent on the sports themselves or better spent elsewhere but why let that stop us?, these comments will come no matter who makes the bid. Tax payers in my age range will be paying off the Olympics for their rest of their working lives (another 40 years or so), I'd sleep a lot happier at night if I knew my taxes were going towards Tyneside and Wearside hosting the Commonwealth games with potentially new and upgrades venues.
Depends what you want to spend - and your priorities. For me [if you believe there's a low prospect of success] then a good 5 figure sum that it would cost to simply think about a bid and then decent sized [at minimum] 6 figure sum that a bid would cost would be better spent on the sport rather than the consultants. Bear in mind this is my speaking as someone who is one of the people that is occasionally admirably paid for working on sporting consultancy jobs.

Yes we will get comments on how money could have been better spent on the sports themselves or better spent elsewhere but why let that stop us?
Because if we have spent the money on suits and glossy bid documents rather than sport itself then when the local pool shuts through lack of funding we ll have some explaining to do to the 12 year old who can no longer aspire to the olympics.... or even swim once a week !

sure Merseyside would stand more of a chance, you could list possibly anywhere else in the UK that would but the point is that shouldn't stop us..
Errrr ... that s precisely what should stop us.

Essentially it's not about packing up and not making bids, it s about prospects of success. The region won't get it [unless we're up against Harare] and is unlikely to get any national support for a bid save for 'what a good idea', but when it comes to cheques - look for marginals.

City of Gateshead is just about the most ridiculous notion ever put forward by a Local Authority in the North East. The real question is whether people want the Commonwealth games hosted in Newcastle and Gateshead. If its 'yes' then the local authorities should get together and commission a feasibility.
I think though that the example is important here. Like you I regarded the whole idea as being a moment of comedy genius.... but lots didn't and I was playfully blowlamped here for being rude about the bid.

More significantly lots of people in suits [I assume in the civic] didn't, they held meetings and spent money, wined and dined, printed packs, probably hired consultants. They 'knew' that City of Gateshead would bring jobs, regenerate the area, give Gateshead its rightful place on the map. They spent money [as an aside has anyone a figure for the total cost, if not I might FOI it]. All of the nice things that are associated with a games bid.

However they made the mistake of looking at the possible benefits without looking at the probability of their reaching their goal. Those who were more detached were sitting, either head in hands or howling with laughter.

Spending large amounts of money on 'projects' with little chance of success is like buying a lottery ticket [only with other people's money and if you don't win they are off to the foodbank].
 
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