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Volume 24 No. 157


Spectators at the London Games should “add up to three hours to their planned journey times to venues or risk missing their event,” according to O’Connor & Kidd of the LONDON TIMES. IOC Coordination Commission Chair Denis Oswald said that he had “concerns about the ability of an ageing public transport network to cope with an estimated three million extra journeys a day.” Oswald: “People should be aware that it will take a long time to get to their competition and they should leave two or three hours before they might otherwise think they need to in order to get there in time.” O’Connor & Kidd note despite "positive scores on most aspects of planning by LOCOG, there have long been concerns about transport logistics.” Oswald said, “We are still discussing if they can put more carriages on trains, but that doesn’t seem to be possible. I don’t expect much improvement, so it is important that this is properly communicated: if you are to be there on time, you must start very early” (LONDON TIMES, 5/11). Plans to shuttle 30,000 people daily to Eton Dorney, where the "rowing and flat-water canoeing will take place ... have caused Oswald to fret about the reliability of public transport, as the train network has the capacity to deliver only 6,000 people an hour” (London TELEGRAPH, 5/11).

THE SKY IS FALLING: In London, Simon Hart reported London taxpayers “may have to foot the bill for the running costs of the Olympic velodrome in the immediate aftermath of the London Games following the collapse of a naming-rights deal with Sky.” Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, the owners of the velodrome and surrounding "VeloPark" in Stratford, East London, “had been in advanced negotiations with the broadcaster for a 10-year naming rights deal” worth up to a reported US$1.6M a year. After the Olympics, the entire VeloPark ... will be “open to the general public." Combined with revenue from "admission fees, a naming rights deal would make the venue effectively self-financing” (London TELEGRAPH, 5/8).

IN THE FUTURE: In London, Paul Kelso reported a decision over the future of the Olympic Stadium “could be delayed until after the Games” following London Mayor Boris Johnson’s moves to “replace the chairman of the body that will make the call.” Johnson appointed Daniel Moylan as London Legacy Development Corporation Chair, a move which is “likely to see Baroness Margaret Ford, the chairman since its inception, leave in June, before her expected departure in September.” Moylan’s appointment is “understood to have come as a surprise to the board, and Ford was informed by Johnson only on Tuesday” (London TELEGRAPH, 5/10).