London Will Need to Up Spend on ’17 WAC Bid to Compete with Doha

April 15, 2011

Neale Coleman, one of the architects of the successful campaign to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, has admitted that London will have to increase the amount of money it spends on bidding for the 2017 World Athletics Championships to compete against its closest rival, Doha.

The director of the London 2012 coordination at the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Mayor of London’s advisor on London 2012, conceded that the entry of oil and gas-rich Qatar into the race had upped the ante.

Coleman claimed that England had spent too much money on its disastrous bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup and costs needed to be monitored more closely in the future, stating: “The cost of bids is something we certainly have to take into account in the future when we are bidding for major competitions like the 2017 World Athletics Championships which London has just tabled a bid for.

“It does depend on the bid rivals though. For example, Qatar is also bidding for the 2017 World Athletics Championships and we know the financial strength they have so that could mean that we need to increase the cost of our bid to compete.”

It is estimated that Qatar spent US$43m on communications alone during its successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup and there are fears that they will possess too much financial muscle for London to compete against.

London has already had failed in three embarrassing bids for the World Athletics Championships and senior vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Sergey Bubka says he thinks this will have a detrimental effect on the bid’s chances.

Coleman added: “We are discussing the situation thoroughly with the Government, UK Sport, UK Athletics and the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) so we do not spend more than is necessary like we did with the 2018 World Cup bid or have a situation like we did with the 2015 World Athletics Championships where we pulled out of the race due to uncertainty over the future of the Olympic Stadium.”

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is due to choose the host city for 2017 at a meeting in November. Budapest and an unnamed city in Spain – probably Barcelona or Seville – are also bidding.