If there is a lesson from this story, it is to get the planning of what you do after the Games right. Manchester after the 2002 Commonweath Games rebuilt the stadium for Manchester City and the London 2012 Olympic stadium is going to be used by West Ham. Glasgow’s excellent 2014 Commonealth Games imaginatively built an Athletics Track inside Hampden Park. The Don Valley stadium didn’t seem to interest either or both of the city’s football clubs as a venue after the Games, so became a white elephant.
I do think a factor was that the stadium was designed in-house by Sheffield Council’s own architects. This policy was used extensively by British Rail and created some real monstrosities in the 1960s and 1970s.
By contrast the award-winning John Smith’s stadium in Huddersfield, which I visited in the afternoon and was built a few years later, was designed by specialist architects, as have most sports stadia around the world in recent years.
I do think too, that Sheffield missed a chance here of creating a prefabicated set of stands, in steel naturally, that would have fitted the standard athletics track. After the Games most could have been taken down leaving just enough for less-grand events. As the stadium is in a bowl, surely this could have been used to create an uncovered natural amphitheatre, where most people just sat on the grass. This has been used successfully at many horse racing venues in the UK and further afield, like Ascot, Goodwood and Epsom, where these areas have a totally different atmosphere.
In some ways it’s all rather sad and it has been probably a big waste of money, that could have been better spent. Athletics hasn’t drawn large crowds in the UK outside of the big set piece games and championships. The Alexander Stadium in Birmingham seems to be more than sufficient with a capacity of 12,700 for most other events, so the Don Valley stadium was probably a stadium too many for athletics. The nearest stadia at Gateshead, Manchester and the smaller track in Leeds, seem to have successfully negotiated multi-sport partnerships and appear to be on a much sounder footing, than the Don Valley Stadium ever was.
If they’d got the planning, re-use and design right, it might have been a very different story!
This headline appears on the BBC web site. Surely a child would find it difficult to jump the hurdles.
Headline writers should be more careful.
These pictures were taken over two days at the Games.
On the Tuesday we had seats in a much better position on the opposite side of the stadium.
Sir Christopher Chataway was one of my heroes and he has been mentioned regularly in this blog.
But now he has died and I suspect the world will be a duller place.
I can still see the pictures of him in white defeating Vladimir Kuts at the White City. This is the BBC’s description of the feat.
His career in international athletics lasted only five years with the pinnacle being in 1954 when he set a new 5,000m world record of 13 minutes 51.6 seconds in a televised race at White City.
Chataway beat Russia’s Vladimir Kuts by 0.1 secs – the man who he had finished second behind in the 5,000m European Championships final two weeks earlier.
He might not have been a great athlete, but he was one of those rarer beings; a great all round talent.
I went for a walk along the Greenway, that crosses the Olympic Park this morning.
I ended up at the ViewTube, where I had some delicious kippers and scrambled egg on Genius toast for lunch!
The shots labelled Landscapng are of the area west of the Greenway, which was the athletics warm-up area.
There has been a lot of building in Glasgow lately, much of it to do with the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
I was totally surprised by the combined velodrome and sports hall, called the Emirates Arena, which looked a real world class building from the outside.
The finnieston Crane is a Glasgow landmark and was used to lift heavy cargoes onto ships. It reminds me of the massive seaplane crane at Felixstowe, which was used to lift seaplanes and flying boats out of the water. There’s a picture in this report.
i can’t find anything suitable about the Clyde Harbour Tunnel of which the two rotundas are part. They look very much like the buildings of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel in London, except they are much larger.
Buried in an opinion in The Times today about athletics, is a statement that Christine Ohuruogo has visited every school in Newham for no other reason than she thinks she should!
Good on you Christine!
Today is my birthday and a few years ago, I didn’t think I’d make the next one, let alone the fourth after my stroke.
I’m happy living here in leafy Dalston at the eastern edge of Hackney, but there are a few things, I want for my birthday.
The first is that, I’d love to get my breathing back to the level it was when I lived with C. All I’ve got is a permanently runny nose, just like I had as a child. Perhaps, it’s just London, although it really started after C died and got a lot worse when I had the stroke. If I look back on the last few years, there are times, when it goes, but why does it go. Two doctors have said it’s hay fever, but then another has said, I’ve no allergy except gluten. Certainly, the sea seems to make it better. So perhaps, I need to find an attractive widow, who lives by the coast in say Liverpool or Brighton.
I’d also like my bathroom finished, as it’s been a long time since the first builders started and then effectively gave up or went bust. The job started with the removal of the old bathroom in October last year.
I’d also like some stacking chairs for my living room to go with my table.
At least I’m getting one thing, I really really want and that is having supper in Arbutus.
But I suppose the best birthday present is outside my control. I did think about going to see the World Athletics Championships in Moscow this week. I didn’t, but I didn’t know that Mo Farah would be running in the final tonight. If I had, it might have swayed me.
But knowing my luck, he won’t win tonight! If it had been tomorrow, he’d have walked it.
I’m just watching the World Athletics Championships in Moscow on BBC Television.
But where are all the fans?
Surely, World Championship and Olympic events, should be given to countries, who’ll actually go to watch them!