A strategic roadmap for LA's Olympic bid

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is being renovated in 2018 (Photo: Christian de Araujo / Shutterstock)

As a distance swimmer, Janet Evans broke seven world records and won five Olympic medals. But she is in a different kind of race now, as vice chair and director of athlete relations at LA24 – the bid committee for Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is one of four cities bidding for the 2024 Olympic Games, along with Budapest, Paris and Rome. How these cities interpret Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s “strategic roadmap for the Olympic movement”, will be crucial to their success.

Evans spoke with Host City at SportAccord Convention about how her city’s ambitions are aligned with those of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).


Use what you already have

A primary challenge for cities bidding for and hosting the Olympic Games is to have venues that are used an on-going basis in the city, while also being optimised for Games time. 

This is not only a logistical issue but also a financial and reputational one – so much so that the IOC, which holds the rights to the Olympic Games and brand, has placed venue sustainability at the heart of its strategy. 

The first of the 40 recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 states “The IOC to actively promote the maximum use of existing facilities and the use of temporary and demountable venues.”

Evans says, “It’s interesting that 97 per cent of our venues will be built before 2024 irrespective of our bid. A lot of new venues are already going up for various sporting events within southern California. The only permanent venue we’d have to build would be a new kayak venue.”

The iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum served as the Olympic Stadium in 1932 and 1984 and would take centre stage again in 2024. Over the years the venue has hosted NFL, Major League Baseball, soccer and entertainment events in addition to regular sporting events staged by its owner, the University of Southern California (USC).

USC Athletics is funding a US$270m renovation of the Coliseum that is planned, Evans says, “irrespective of our bid”. These works are scheduled to take place between 2017 and 2019.

Another big conundrum for host cities is how to accommodate athletes during the Games. As with sports venues, possible solutions include building for legacy use, or using temporary or existing facilities. LA24 has opted for the latter, arranging for USC and the city’s other big university, UCLA, to accommodate athletes on its campus during the Games. 

“It’s a great place for athletes as there are a lot of training facilities,” says Evans. “A lot of our athletes in the US come through the university training system so we are very pleased with our choice of UCLA.”


Listen to the IFs

Another challenge faced by Olympic bidding and organising committees is to make sure their venue plans are in line with the priorities of the international federations (IFs) that govern Olympic sports. Many IFs have expressed frustration with the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (OCOG) for Rio 2016, with construction running behind schedule. 

Olympic Agenda 2020 sets out to avoid this happening in future by determining to “enhance the role of the IFs in the planning and delivery of the Olympic competitions, including the study of transferring technical responsibilities from the OCOGs to the IFs.”

Evans says having most of the venues already built enables LA24 to focus on engaging with IFs during the bidding phase; and events like Host City and SportAccord Convention give bidding cities the opportunity to do so.

“It’s wonderful to be here to listen and learn and understand what federations would like to see in a bid and help bring that into our bid and understand things,” says Evans.

Between January and April 2016, Evans and LA24’s sports director Doug Arnot met with all 28 Olympic IFs to ask them about their priorities for their sports. “It was a real listening and learning exercise, so we could go home and take that back to our team and say, here’s what this IF would really like to see.

“And another thing we feel is that if and when we win the Games, since our venues are built, we can spend seven years working not only on venues and upgrades but also on making the athlete experience great. So I think the sustainability of LA and the fact that our venues are built is really powerful.”


Athletes at the heart

Another key aim of Agenda 2020 is to “put the athletes’ experience at the heart of the Olympic Games”. This is the Evans’ main area of focus now –  “I know that’s what President Bach wants to see,” she says.

To achieve this, she is tapping into the US’s enviable network of Olympians and Paralympians – not just US natives but also Olympic alumni who have competed for other countries in the Games and now live in the US.

LA24 is running a road show of “Athlete Town Hall” meetings. “We want to ask for the input and advice of athletes. We felt there was no better way to receive that input than to speak to them in person.

“We are looking for opinions and advice and things that we can make better and things that were loved by the athletes.”

The first Athlete Town Hall meeting was in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area of south Florida in early April. LA24 is to conduct between 12 and 15 of these meetings over the course of 2016 in cities throughout the US.

“We see this as a national bid, not just a bid for the state of California or the city of Los Angeles. It’s a bid from our entire country to bring the summer Games back to the US for the first time since 1996.”


Culture and creativity

Another aim of Agenda 2020 is to achieve a “further blending of sports and culture”. Los Angeles is famed for its entertainment industry, but Evans says this is just one part of the mix. 

“I think Los Angeles is in a true renaissance. We have US$88bn of infrastructure going into our new transport system, in our airport; our city is changing everything – it’s vibrant and hip. We have this great accumulation of the entertainment world as well as technology and creativity.

“I believe if we have the honour of hosting the Games there are so many interesting things we could do to help promote sport and bring youth into the Games. Los Angeles is a mecca of creativity, of innovation, of change and I think that’s evident when you come to our city.”

Recent allegations and revelations of doping and bribery in some Olympic sports are a reputational threat to the Games. Asked what LA24 can do to safeguard against these threats, Evans says “I think there’s a lot of joy and positive things that are in this movement. That’s what we all believe in – I believe in the Olympic movement and what it does for future generations and in what athletics can portray to the world. 

“We want to bring the positive – I want to find out what the athletes can bring to other people. I want everyone to experience the Olympics for what they really are, which is what I see as the Olympics, which is this great celebration of humanity, peace and friendship and continuity.

“So I think that’s what we need to remember: the Olympics are an incredible movement and I’m just proud to be a small part of it.”


Anti-Corruption Summit welcomes International Sports Integrity Partnership

IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Paquerette Girard-Zappelli

The International Anti-Corruption Summit, hosted by UK Prime Minister Cameron on Thursday in London, welcomed the efforts of sports organisations in the fight against corruption.

The conference issued a communiqué that said: “We welcome the work of the international sports organisations to strengthen openness and improve governance so that they meet global best practice. We urge them to achieve the highest global standards and regain public trust through a culture of good governance. We recognise the autonomy of international sports organisations conferred under national laws. We believe this must be exercised responsibly and be earned by continually demonstrating good governance in a spirit of openness.” 

The conference specifically welcomed the initiative of the IOC to launch “an International Sport Integrity Partnership in the margins of a meeting of the International Forum for Sport Integrity in Lausanne in early 2017.” 

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “We appreciate that this summit has acknowledged the efforts of the IOC and sports organisations. The IOC has all the instruments in place and the resolution to fight effectively against corruption. But like any other organisation we are not immune to wrongdoing. In such cases we have a proven record of swift action. The reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 have strengthened our position to implement our zero tolerance policy in this respect. As welcomed by the Summit, we will take the fight against corruption further by launching the International Sports Integrity Partnership.”

The Summit coincided with confirmation from French financial prosecutors that they are investigating allegations that payments exceeding $2m connected to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid were made to a bank account linked to the son of former IOC member and IAAF President Lamine Diack.

IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Paquerette Girard-Zappelli spoke at the conference. In an IOC-issued statement she said: “We used this opportunity to present all the measures undertaken by the IOC in the fight against corruption. 

“Through Olympic Agenda 2020 the position of the IOC Ethics Commission has been strengthened and transparency has been increased. This includes a Consultants Register for the Olympic Games Bid Process and many other measures. 

“We have proven that we are actively fighting against corruption. For instance, the IOC took immediate action against Lamine Diack already in November 2015 when the first allegation arose against him. As a result of our action he no longer has any position in the IOC. Nevertheless, we continue to actively look into the matter and have become a civil party to the French investigation.”

IOC Member and President of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Craven chaired a panel on sport at the summit. Girard-Zappelli was joined on the panel by Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the OECD, Jaimie Fuller of Australian sportwear brand SKINS, and Isha Johansen, president of the Sierra Leone Football Association and FIFA board member.

“I have a mission and a vision, to force good governance into football. Because I believe it can help with the growth and prosperity of that nation,” said Johansen.

“Corruption is a deadly killer disease. Having lived in Sierra Leone through the ebola crisis, I know the destruction a disease can cause in a society, it can rip through it, it can kill a society.”

After the summit, Sir Philip Craven said: “Sport is under greater scrutiny than ever before and rightly so; sport is a multi-billion Euro industry that reaches and impacts billions of people around the world on a daily basis.

“There are absolutely no doubts that recent scandals involving some international sport federations have greatly tarnished the image and reputation of sport. This has led sport to quickly realise that it is not immune from being accountable for its actions, just like any other industry.

“It should not take a high profile scandal however to act as the catalyst to organisational reform. Sport organisations must be proactive in improving their athlete centred governance. They must seek out corruption and deal with it swiftly and effectively. It cannot be brushed under the carpet in the hope it will go undiscovered.

“Eliminating corruption in sport needs to be a real team effort. That is why the IPC fully supports the work of the IOC, the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020, the launching of International Sports Integrity Partnership in early 2017 and the recommendations of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) Governance Task Force.”

The conference also dealt with issues such as corporate secrecy, government transparency, the enforcement of international anti-corruption laws, and the strengthening of international institutions. 

The summit adopted a “Global Declaration Against Corruption”, which reads: “Corruption is at the heart of so many of the world’s problems. We must overcome it if our efforts to end poverty, promote prosperity and defeat terrorism and extremism are to succeed. 

“Today’s Summit has demonstrated the deep commitment of a significant number of countries, businesses and members of civil society to work together to tackle this scourge.”


UK Sport backs GB to win at Rio with million-hour support

Paralympic wheelchair tennis medallist Jordanne Whiley MBE

The English Institute of Sport, funded by UK Sport, will have provided 950,000 hours of support to more than 1,100 athletes between the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  

This amounts to more than 4,500 hours of support a week over the four year Olympic cycle, in a bid to help Team GB achieve success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil.

The English Institute of Sport (EIS) is UK Sport’s science, medicine and technology arm, with 350 experts helping elite athletes improve performance in more than 30 Olympic and Paralympic sports.

UK Sport provided EIS with GB£59,775,973 of funding after London 2012, where the EIS had worked with 86 per cent of the GB athletes who had won a medal. UK Sport and the EIS have worked together to build a world-leading high performance system in a bid to deliver Team GB’s best ever away performance.

“With less than 100 days to go to the Olympics and 120 to go to the Paralympics, our National Lottery funded sports and athletes are in good shape,” said Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport.

“I have every confidence that they, supported by the EIS, will inspire the nation with their performances in Rio this summer. 

“The thousands of hours of world class scientific, medical and technological expertise provided by the EIS each week to our Olympic and Paralympic athletes is key to ensuring they are the best prepared British athletes ever.

“The EIS has been the ‘team behind the team’ since 2002, and our high performance system wouldn’t be where it is today without the impact of their talented team of experts.”

EIS services support both the physical and mental health and wellbeing of athletes and coaches with expertise provided across areas including biomechanics, performance analysis, performance lifestyle, performance pathways, performance nutrition, physiology, psychology, physiotherapy, medicine, research & innovation and strength and conditioning.

This support combines to help athletes and coaches across a number of areas including maximising competition performance, recovering from injury, identifying talent, enhancing physical and mental health and wellbeing and transitioning into new careers following retirement from elite sport. 

“It is the vision of the EIS to be the world leading institute for sport and through the funding and support provided by UK Sport, our ambitious goal is within reach,” said Nigel Walker, National Director of the EIS.

“The high performance system we have in our country is the envy of many around the world and that is underpinned by our leading practitioners boasting over 1,100 years collective experience across 11 areas of expertise. 

“We remain on track for huge success at Rio 2016 and thanks to ongoing support from UK Sport, the Government and National Lottery, planning for Tokyo 2020 is well advanced as we continue to showcase ‘What It Takes To Win’ on a global stage.”

Olympic diving medallist Tom Daley received support from the EIS Psychology team. “If you can handle the pressure cooker environment of an Olympic final psychologically, you have the power to go all the way and win!” he said. “The support I’ve received from the EIS in sports psychology has made me into the diver I am today.”

Paralympic wheelchair tennis medallist Jordanne Whiley MBE said: “The EIS leave no stone unturned when it comes to helping athletes prepare for competition. The support they provide both on and off the field of play helps increase confidence and allows me to perform at my very best.” 


How Nussli created Bern's temporary theatre

European Football Championship matches will be screened inside the temporary structure

Theatre lovers in Bern are being offered something very special. Performances for the 2016 season take place not in the usual venerable municipal theatre, but in the middle of Bern's Old Town. NUSSLI has installed a temporary theatre cube, with a historical appearance, in record time on Waisenhausplatz. 

The theatre opened on March 19 with a programme of exciting, impassioned and fascinating performances that runs until October 2016. 

"If the restoration work at the municipal theatre is delayed again, we can easily leave the cube standing for another season during the winter or even adjust the building to changing needs at a later date," says NUSSLI Project Manager, Christian Frei. 

For a year and a half, Frei and his team worked on the development of the system with which the halls can be constructed within a very short time, even at the most unusual locations, in any size and with column-free spans of up to 40m. 


Efficient and Easy to Build 

Frei was often on site during construction on Waisenhausplatz and lent a hand time and again, because the assembly of the modular hall system is almost as thrilling as its unlimited applications. 

At the very beginning, the assembly crew installs the external structure with the flexible NUSSLI construction system. Then, they completely assemble the roof structure, including the sound and lighting fixtures, on the ground at a comfortable working height within the designated construction area. Finally, the entire roof structure is moved to its final height. 

This construction method reduces the required installation space to a minimum and enables installation even on sensitive ground while increasing the safety of the crew. All the streets around the cube on Bern's Waisenhausplatz were able to remain open to traffic throughout the construction, and the crane-free assembly did not stress the underlying parking garage structure in any way. 


Central Location Opens up Possibilities 

The idea of bringing the theatre cube to the audience instead of bringing the audience to an existing provisional arrangement opens up new possibilities for the Bern Theatre. 

The program was therefore put together with a conscious effort to include events which reflect the central position in the public square and appeal to various interests. So, a tango milonga, a public viewing of the European Football Championship and a James Bond evening are scheduled in addition to ballet, opera and drama. 

The modular hall system offers some important advantages, especially for construction projects in public places, on sensitive ground, or with limited access. The construction system requires no foundations, there is significantly less point loading than with construction using conventional steel supports, and the total load is evenly distributed over the entire ground surface. 

Because Waisenhausplatz sits directly atop a parking garage which is subject to special static requirements, there were no problems for the theatre cube despite its 1000sq m size and 200-ton weight. No heavy crane equipment is needed, especially for assembly work in modular hall system.

"We could have set the theatre cube up on the Pilatus or on a golf course," laughs Project Manager Frei. "That would work." 


Plan Today, Build Tomorrow 

The planning of the Bern Theatre cube with 480 seats, catering, backstage and technical areas as well as a cloakroom took less than a year. 

"A month after the first truck rolled out with its material, the cube was already cladded, equipped, and ready to go," recounts Christian Frei. 

He is looking forward to the reactions after the first performance, but adds quite calmly: "If the theatre organisation still wants modifications, it can be quickly and easily adjusted. The walls of the cube are also made of system material. They have just the exact thickness so that the entire installation can be accommodated in them and still remain easily accessible." 

Plans for the next projects with the modular hall system are already underway. Besides other theatre constructions, NUSSLI is planning a double-decker bridge for the IndyCar race in Boston in September. A bridge that has it all, because it crosses over the racetrack to the South Boston waterfront and will be equipped as a VIP lounge. 

The sophisticated structure consists entirely of system material. Therefore, it is possible to start construction one day after approval of the construction concept on the part of the client or the authorities - which is unparalleled.

This article was written by NUSSLI


Host City welcomes Sadiq Khan's green transport plan

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London (Photo: the Labour Party)

Labour MP Sadiq Khan is set to be the new Mayor of London as counting nears completion following Thursday’s election. Khan stood against four rival candidates including the Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith. 

He is set to succeed Conservative MP Boris Johnson, who led London for two terms which included the delivery of the Olympic Games in 2012. The Host City contract for London 2012 was signed by former Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Shortly before the election Khan outlined his priorities in an editorial in The Guardian newspaper. Affordable housing was top of the agenda, but he also set out his plans to assure that transport affordable. 

“Londoners now face the most expensive transport of almost any major city,” he wrote. “I will freeze fares for four years, and introduce ‘Hopper’ bus tickets, so that people can have unlimited changes within one hour.”

With Khan as Mayor, London can hope to see an improvement in air quality. 

“As someone who lives with adult-onset asthma I know how bad air quality in the capital has become,” he wrote. 

“I want to be the greenest mayor London has ever had – it is not acceptable that 10,000 people die in London every year because our air is so filthy. That’s why I have ambitious plans to make green London’s bus fleet and remove the filthiest vehicles from our roads.

He also pledged to improve security in the capital of the UK.“While the cost of living in London has soared, the number of police officers making our city safe has plummeted. Conservative cuts mean there are 1,500 fewer officers on London’s streets, and violent crime levels are up in every single borough. I will make policing a priority, and work to tackle sexual assaults on public transport and the unacceptable rise in hate crime.”

But the clearest message of Khan’s campaign was on tackling the runaway cost of accommodation. “Our city is living through the worst housing crisis in a generation, rents are sky-high and the average cost of a home in London is more than £500,000,” he wrote. 

“If I become mayor of London, my single biggest priority will be to build thousands more homes every year. I will set a target to make half of all the new homes that are built genuinely affordable, with first dibs for Londoners.”

Khan, who is set to be the first Muslim mayor of a major western city, was nominated Labour’s candidate for the mayoral contest ahead of former Olympics Minister Dame Tessa Jowell. 

Host City would like to thank Dame Tessa Jowell and former Mayors Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone for all their contributions to and invaluable support of Host City; and to welcome Sadiq Khan's plans for London.

When to mediate or litigate in sports events

Sarah Lewis photographed speaking at HOST CITY 2015 (Photo copyright: Host City)

“It’s important to draw a distinction where you actually can use mediation or an alternative dispute resolution method other than litigation. 

“Competition rules and doping offences are not areas where you can mediate, negotiate and so on; these have clear rules and they have to be respected for the integrity of the sport. 

“What you do need, when it comes to competition rules, is a solid internal procedure to have the possibility to appeal to a higher instance than the competition jury – they can make mistakes, so that needs to be verifiable.

“And then you also need the commitment that there will be an appeal possibility to the Centre for Arbitration of Sport (CAS), as the overall instance to check externally that your internal regulatory procedures are working in the correct way.

“From my perspective, as far as anti-doping offences are concerned, it’s a similar situation: an International Federation has to uphold the WADA rules. Then you have to defend those in an internal doping panel procedure and if there is an appeal, again can be appealed externally to CAS; that’s what is given in the code. 

“Then the areas where we have a certain experience where there could be room for negotiation concerns disputes – we’ve had dealings in two particular areas. One has been with a couple of serious accidents that have taken place in international competitions, which are organised under the FIS rules, that are overseen by the technical delegate appointed for the assignment by FIS. 

“Then there have been out of court discussions and negotiations, of course together with the insurance company who plays an important role there. In the one case we found a very good solution that involved supporting a foundation set up by the family in the athlete’s memory dedicated to supporting youngsters in his sport and improving safety measures. 

“The other area has been with non-competition regulations: interpretation of regulations connected to commercial branding and visibility; is a manufacturer a manufacturer or is it a commercial entity; what’s allowed and what isn’t allowed? That is also quite closely connected to Olympic rules.”


This exclusive interview was conducted by HOST CITY at LawAccord during the 2016 SportAccord Convention


Eventful cities combine culture and technology

GLOW 2015 light festival in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, on November 11, 2015 (Photo Copyright: Dennis van de Water)

The spring EUROCITIES Culture Forum, held on 16-18 March in Eindhoven and 's-Hertogenbosch, focussed on “Technologies as a game changer for culture” and the concept of “eventfulness”. 

The forum examined the links between art, science and technology, and explored through practical experiments how the “triple helix” concept applies to culture in cities.

Through the discussions and work sessions, city delegates learned about Eindhoven’s transformation through a combination of technology and creativity. 

The founding of the Philips company in 1892 positioned Eindhoven as a major technological, industrial and design hub. When Philips closed down in 2000, the 270,000m2 Strijp industrial area, formerly home to the Philips offices, was turned into an art and technology hub dedicated to everything from research and development to cultural production and display. 

Strijp-S has become the high-tech creative and cultural centre of Eindhoven. Since 2008 'Cultuurfonds Strijp-S', a public-private fund, has been supporting initiatives, events and programmes in the Strijp-S area and contributes to its national and international reputation.

“Experiments” and “experiences” are key words for culture in Eindhoven. Culture is understood in its broad sense. In Eindhoven there is a focus on living laboratories where creatives, businesses and education work together intensively on innovative products and projects, in which new technological applications are tested. 

Using the concept of “Eventfulness”, the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch deployed an integrated model to set-up world class events. 

A team of restoration experts was convened to convince museums around the world to lend their paintings for a unique retrospective celebrating the 500th anniversary of the death of local painter Hieronymus Bosch. 

Tickets for the exhibition have all sold out and Bosch's works are inspiring many other activities throughout 2016 with music festivals, art, dance performances in public space and light projections. 

“If you invest €1 in culture you get €5 into the city and €20 into the country” said Anton Rombouts, mayor of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Delegates also learned that failed bids for European Capitals of Culture can bring new opportunities. 

After an unsuccessful joint bid for European Capital of Culture 2018, the cities of Eindhoven and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, together with other cities from the Brabantstad network of cities and the Brabant province, continued working together, joined forces and created a fund for culture called ‘Brabant C’. The aim is to boost the national and international attraction of the Brabant area by strengthening art and culture.

Culture and the arts also play a key role in the integration process of newcomers in cities. Getting involved in cultural projects activates a sense of community and belonging and cultural projects give migrants and refugees the chance to make a contribution to their host societies. 

Delegates learned how cities’ cultural administrations can create situations for mutual learning and intercultural dialogue; develop bottom-up programmes; and train their staff to better address the needs of a diversified society.

The next EUROCITIES culture forum will take place in Oulu, Finland from 5-7 October, and will focus on cultural education and culture for children. 



Host cities to form international association

Paul Bush OBE (right), VisitScotland’s Director of Events, speaking with moderator David Eades at SportAccord Convention's City Forum

Over 50 representatives of cities, regions and countries attending this year’s SportAccord Convention, have reached an overwhelming consensus to move forward with the formation of an international association of event hosts.

The representatives met at the City to City session facilitated by members of a working group who have been investigating the feasibility of forming an organisation for “not-for-profit” investors to share knowledge of hosting international events.

During the session, representatives learned from the successes and challenges of a number of recent events hosted at destinations across the world.

Representatives also provided feedback on different models of how destinations could share knowledge and generate greater benefits from hosting events. The working group will now take this feedback and develop a plan to formalise cooperation between destinations.

Members of the working group to date include:

•Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development

•Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance


•Fáilte Ireland, National Tourism Development Authority

•London & Partners

•Los Angeles Sports Council

•New Zealand Major Events

•Sport Event Denmark

•USA National Association of Sports Commissions

Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners said “The very productive session at SportAccord Convention has again demonstrated the benefits of sharing experiences of hosting events. By working together I believe all investors in major events will generate greater long term value, whether they are public bodies, rights-owners or commercial sponsors.”

“Sharing knowledge of hosting events is very important and cooperating with other hosts in a trusted environment will benefit all of us,” said Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events said: “Events and tourism have a hugely beneficial symbiotic relationship and this initiative can only do good for the industry.”

Rick Traer, CEO, Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance added “We’ve seen the advantages of working together and sharing best practices at a national level. Taking those experiences to the international level and learning from our colleagues around the world will be a very productive partnership. Our cities will reap the benefit of knowledge from other countries, and sport tourism will continue to be a vital and vibrant part of our economy.” 

Source: SportAccord Convention


Event hosts – masters of their own destiny

Paul Bush OBE chairing a meeting of cities at Host City 2015

International sports governing bodies are now more than a hundred years old, many having emerged in response to the rise of international sporting events: FIFA was established in 1904 and the IAAF in 1912, for example. 

World Expos began in London in 1851 and their international governing body, the BIE, was established in 1928. New governing bodies continue to be established today as event properties emerge – the International Tent Pegging Federation, for example, was founded in 2013. 

Sports event rights holders have many opportunities to share experiences, through a number of different membership organisations. But a unifying body for the host cities themselves has been lacking. While many event properties (the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup for example) have their own knowledge sharing procedures for organising committees, there has been no publicly recognised organisation in place to support and regulate cities in their perennial quest to benefit from hosting major events. 

Some stakeholders involved in attracting and hosting events have their own international networks: the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC); the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA); and European Cities Marketing, for Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) – but the city halls themselves are not yet fully connected.

This is in the process of changing. City meetings have started to take place at all the significant sector gatherings. The City Roundtable at Host City 2015, chaired by Paul Bush Direcor of Events for VisitScotland, saw a very large group of city officials sharing experiences. Host City is also pleased to have supported the “City Day” at SportAccord Convention

Event hosts have now publicly agreed to form a self-determining international association, a process Host City continues to fully support. Host City 2016, taking place in Glasgow on the 16 and 17 November, will be the next important gathering of cities and all types of events – not just sport, but business, culture and entertainment. We look forward to sharing experiences with you in the marketplace.


FIFA still needs to change culture, says reform chair

Francois Carrard (left), independent chairman of the 2016 FIFA reform committee, with Sarah Lewis, secretary general of FIS, at LawAccord

Appointing a new president and amending statutes are important steps for FIFA but a change of culture will be essential for significant transformation, the independent chairman of the 2016 FIFA reform committee Dr François Carrard told HOST CITY.

“By passing the reform of its statutes at the Congress in February in Zurich, I think FIFA has achieved a very important step towards substantial reform. In my opinion, together with the election of the new president, this it is to be considered as the starting point of a reform process,” Carrard told HOST CITY at SportAccord Convention in Lausanne.

“But I think it’s a starting point also for what is essential in my opinion, which is a change of culture.”

Carrard also spoke on a panel at the LawAccord conference during SportAccord Convention, where he shared his experiences of working with FIFA throughout criminal investigations. 

“I have been observing from inside in the last months the ‘schizophrenic’ work of the various institutions involved in the FIFA scandals. There were the internal institutions – I started working under president Blatter, when I wanted to report to him the police were there, then I had Ayatou, then I finished with Infantino.”

HOST CITY asked Carrard if he believed FIFA members had voted the right way in electing UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino as president. 

“As independent chairman I haven’t been involved deeply in FIFA organisational structures before, but my personal experience of president Infantino is such that he is the right man,” he told HOST CITY.

“I think with a new leadership, with adjusted statutes, the path is now there to achieve but any reform process takes time. 

“You cannot expect that in a couple of months you solve everything. But at least now the door is open for progress.”