MEGA-EVENTS driving development will be the theme of the closing sessions of Play the Game 2009. Lorenz Ursprung head of sport promotion for the Federal Office of sport is the first speaker of the day; he will be considering how the Swiss “EUROphoria” boosted sport, at 10.00am in Coventry Cathedral.
In contrast, Ian Nuttall will look at the failure that follows the hype of major tournament stadiums like the “Bird’s Nest” in Beijing which is currently a $423 million tourist attraction.
Is hosting a major sporting event beneficial to economic and social development or does the aftermath leave the public penniless and stadiums empty. Chris Shaw will be speaking on privatized profit from socialized debt. With sponsors drying up because of the downturn and overrunning budgets what is the result for the taxpayer.
Brigid Simmonds chair of the Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR) will be discussing the benefits that will follow London 2012 and how the tournament will deliver the promises of urban rejuvenation in London’s East end and the development of youth sport programs across the country.
Speaking to the BBC following recession fears Lord Sebastian Coe, chair of the London organizing committee said: “This is a very good project to be having at the moment. In good times or bad this is a project that really has an extraordinary impact.” But is that impact for better or worse the speakers will discuss the future of Mega-events what motivates organizers to invest so heavily, are they fast becoming ticking time bombs that no where wants to hold.
The final session of the conference will include Andrew Jennings speaking on England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup followed Play the Game winner award ceremony and finally the closing statements from Play the Game Director Jens Sejer Andersen.