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Are The Commonwealth Games No Longer Viable


LuigiVercotti

  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. Has Delhi 2010's problems killed your interest in the CGs

    • Yes
      10
    • No
      19
  2. 2. Can Glasgow 2014 save the CGs?

    • Yes
      22
    • No
      7
  3. 3. Do you see a long term future for the CGs?

    • Yes
      18
    • No
      11


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That leaves Canada, NZ, South Africa and perhaps Singapore. Sri Lanka may try again after Hambantota gets knocked off by the Gold Coast for 2018 but that'll be a fairly risible bid. Mo, you have already said that South Africa would be highly unlikely to bid plus the quest for the first African SOGs will muddy the waters for either a 2022 or 2026 games.

I guess the best chance of South Africa hosting is off the back of a failed Olympic bid, similar to Manchester.

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Interesting proposal from the NZOC

Delhi debacle sees NZOC call for scaled down future Games

The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) bosses want to see a more robust bid process and a scaled-down event when future Commonwealth Games hosts are appointed.

It comes as the saga continues in Delhi, with the Indian capital desperately readying itself for the arrival of athletes this week.

Outgoing NZOC secretary-general Barry Maister and president Mike Stanley believe a revamp is required to evaluate host cities before they enter the bidding process. Maister was voted in as an IOC member earlier this year. He is currently on the sub-committee looking at bids for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

"We are sending a team for a week to look at each site. It consists of IOC members and technical officials in each sport. They probe with a week of questions, looking at transport plans, venues and budgets to make sure a city can deliver.

"The process needs to be stringent. That is what the CGF [Commonwealth Games Federation] must learn from this. They need to ascertain if a country has the capability. India does, but needed to be tested more for its ability to deliver on time. What they showed us in the village last week was unacceptable and inexcusable.

They [the organisers and the CGF] deserve to be slammed for it."

CGF chief executive - and former NZOC boss - Michael Hooper believes the process to appoint Delhi was fair, open and in-depth.

"It was out of Delhi and Hamilton [in Canada]. Each individual Commonwealth Games Association, including New Zealand, had a vote to decide where the Games should go. Hosts also only have to put on a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 17 sports [Delhi has 17]. That is far more flexible than the IOC who have a firm 28 [for summer Games]. I might be naive, but if someone wanted to take a back-to-basics approach they could. Scaling back could be part of the bid process."

Stanley, who wryly observed the Delhi Games will be remembered as "exceptional" rather than the often cliched reference of "best ever", says they need to avoid sentiment and reward a more analytical approach.

"The process needs to be outsourced to independent agencies to report back. The CGF do that to an extent but have not been as advanced as the IOC. However, they don't have the same resources either.

"For instance, we organised people from overseas to look at the potential Auckland 2018 bid. That's why we didn't go to the evaluation stage. The plan for Delhi was world-class but the problem has been in delivery. People will be more wary in future on where the Games go."

Maister says the answer lies in scaling back the event so more nations can afford to host.

"The cost is grossly over the top. I've heard figures bandied about anywhere between US$2-4 billion. When we thought about bidding in 2018, we wanted to bring the Games back to a level commensurate with the Commonwealth. A large number of nations are small and not well off. If New Zealand can't get across the line to bid, then the formula is wrong.

"It shouldn't be about trying to outdo the last hosts. The Games need to be downsized and we intended to lead the way. Talking to the Gold Coast, who are bidding in 2018, they think likewise and are basing it on that type of plan."

Maister says that doesn't mean cutting back on sports: "Instead it means not building as many new venues and making do with facilities you already have. Instead of a 40,000 seat athletics stadium, why not settle for a 20,000-seater that can be used afterwards?

"It is common sense. We see excesses in the system and want to drill those points home at the Commonwealth Games executive meeting this week. We will be telling them why we didn't end up bidding."

The Chef de Mission to the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games, Les Mills, says the future is promising with Glasgow next then potentially Gold Coast.

"You'd want fairly cast-iron guarantees from countries outside Canada, Australia or Britain. Another country would have to have a history hosting such events. South Africa could be an option, given the recent success they had with the [football] World Cup."

Stanley is adamant the Games have a future even if they sit low in athletes' priority judging by a number of high profile absences, such as Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Sir Chris Hoy.

"They still have an important role. It is a wonderful opportunity to participate in a multisport environment under the media spotlight. I hope the lessons are not to upsize further.

"Inevitably the commercialism of sport will siphon off the very best athletes but, for many sports, they [the Games] are a vital part of the programme."

Maister agrees: "It's still an important event for many athletes. I know the general public can be dismissive but it is the pinnacle in the careers of some. It is their 'Olympics', not just a throwaway event."

NZ Herald

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That report makes a lot of sense Rols however I just wonder if the 'small is better' approach will win backers amongst the CGF and their commercial associates. For example how would someone like the BBC or the Australian broadcast rights holder go trying to squeeze a 'small CGs' in amongst the already crowded sports TV calendar. Then there are the sports themselves...will someone like archery, badminton, boxing or weightlifting be willing to be cut from the schedule. Bet your bottom dollar they would fight tooth and nail for inclusion, perhaps exerting whatever financial or political support they can garner from both Commonwealth powerhouses like England, Canada or Australia, or cries of discrimination from the likes of India, Malaysia, Pakistan.

Perhaps what we are looking at is a similar model to the YOGs. It would certainly give more productive time and competition for emerging or small player nation athletes and reduce the hype and grandiose schemes of the organisers. However the bottom line will be how does the money flow in to keep the whole rickety boat afloat. The CGF needs big bucks to deliver something that will appeal more broadly than the badminton freaks in Botswana or the diving addicts in Nuie.

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The CWG Fed does not request giant venues, and in many cases are willing to negotiate on venue capacities as they have before.

A 30-40,000 request for athletics is not unreasonable, and it made sense for Melbourne to use an existing venue. Nobody is demanding 60,000 that Delhi is provinding.

The choice to scale down must also come from cities e.g. use an existing pool and in under a month temporary seating can be put up and removed for any capacity. There are specialists who do this, and they can even provide a small temporary roof too.

They do not demand that too many sports are included and cities get to choose any additional sports.

Many sports can already be held without any costly or major works e.g. bowls, archery, rugby etc etc which can used existing fields or cricket or football stadia without any fuss.

Its weird to some of us why an "archery" venue was built or why a "rugby venue" was built or why an existing convention of exhibition centre was not in place for many of the smaller sports, housing them under one roof.

Many cities already do this.

Yes, the CWG fed must look at the scope of the Games but half of that is controlling what cities use as venues rather than simply accepting any venue proposals

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Exactly. I'd perhaps tweak the boundaries slightly so it's between 12-16 sports to keep some consistency between games (though I can't see anyone now putting in a serious bid with just 10 sports), and perhaps look at limiting the number of athletes by for example cutting the maximum swimmers in an event down from three to two as it is as the Olympics - though that needs to be balanced out with ensuring top talent can qualify. We don't want a situation like Cycling at the Olympics where the UCI in their wisdom have decided on one athlete per country, regardless of whether the top 2-3 in the World might be British.

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That report makes a lot of sense Rols however I just wonder if the 'small is better' approach will win backers amongst the CGF and their commercial associates. For example how would someone like the BBC or the Australian broadcast rights holder go trying to squeeze a 'small CGs' in amongst the already crowded sports TV calendar. Then there are the sports themselves...will someone like archery, badminton, boxing or weightlifting be willing to be cut from the schedule. Bet your bottom dollar they would fight tooth and nail for inclusion, perhaps exerting whatever financial or political support they can garner from both Commonwealth powerhouses like England, Canada or Australia, or cries of discrimination from the likes of India, Malaysia, Pakistan.

Yes, that is the big question, though the Commies already have their rotating optional rosters of sports, which to me is already one of their advantages (and which the IOC also seems to be moving ever-so-carefully towards). And, sure, it might be hard to garner the support to anoint another Victoria-scale games, but after the Delhi-dilly-dalling, they may well be more receptive - particularly if they do still harbour ambitions to ever again go beyond the old White Dominions. It's gonna be telling how the scale of Glasgow and the Gold Coast go - I can't see either being on the scale of a KL, Manchester and Melbourne. With luck they may strike the happy medium and provide a model for the future.

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Yes, that is the big question, though the Commies already have their rotating optional rosters of sports, which to me is already one of their advantages (and which the IOC also seems to be moving ever-so-carefully towards). And, sure, it might be hard to garner the support to anoint another Victoria-scale games, but after the Delhi-dilly-dalling, they may well be more receptive - particularly if they do still harbour ambitions to ever again go beyond the old White Dominions. It's gonna be telling how the scale of Glasgow and the Gold Coast go - I can't see either being on the scale of a KL, Manchester and Melbourne. With luck they may strike the happy medium and provide a model for the future.

Glasgow should be good games, insofar as the infrastructure is already either in place or not too far from being so, plus the Scots will bring some wonderful touches to the games (okay, I'm a wee bit biased thanks tae me Highland roots the noo). Hopefully they'll also reflect the less is more ethic that the Indian organisers and perhaps the CGF have not observed in Delhi. But the Gold Coast might be a little bit of a concern as there is a trend in the white shoe brigade north of the Tweed to make things bigger and more flashy than required. Also whilst Aussies do have a deep-seated interest in the CGs will they be willing to put in the financial, political and emotional investment in something that may be overshadowed (he says crossing fingers) with a successful 2022 WC bid. Throw in the potential for a Chinese-backed Hambantota to throw around cash and ridiculous claims for the Sri Lankans and then it gets rather shakey.

Looking back there was that happy medium from say Edinburgh 1970 up to Brisbane 1982, and Auckland 1990 and Victoria 1994 were peak games of the last 40 years. It'd be a pleasant surprise for Glasgow and hopefully the Gold Coast to recapture this spirit.

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Throw in the potential for a Chinese-backed Hambantota to throw around cash and ridiculous claims for the Sri Lankans and then it gets rather shakey.

For all the help China may give the Sri Lankans, Hambantota is just a non-goer. Honestly, I'd be surprised if they even make it to the final vote without withdrawing. The bid is just fools gold, vapourware and presidential vanity. Delhi has pretty well killed of any long shot it might have had.

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I would like to know the reasons from the 5 people who said that Glasgow could not save the games.

The reason why I voted they couldn't save the games is that Glasgow's no doubted capabilities won't help the CGF break away from the bind they find themselves in now. That is to say I believe they have none of the resources to adequately prevent the CGs losing more and more relevance for the athletes and for the participating nations, the shambles in Delhi has really tarnished their brand (and potentially begun thanks to the blame games now being played a split between the more Anglo, older and more developed nations in the CGF and the poorer, non-Anglo and arguably more aggressive in their use of the CGs for political boosterism) and whilst the Scots will do a fine job can anyone say with all certainty that things will return to at least status quo ante after 2014.

Of course I may well be wrong, but this is not a criticism of Glasgow and the Scottish CG people; it's reflective of where the Commonwealth Games are in my opinion in the sporting world and as the Commonwealth as a whole is losing relevancy.

For all the help China may give the Sri Lankans, Hambantota is just a non-goer. Honestly, I'd be surprised if they even make it to the final vote without withdrawing. The bid is just fools gold, vapourware and presidential vanity. Delhi has pretty well killed of any long shot it might have had.

I'd love to believe that and to be honest I agree 110% Rols. But who is to say how things may pan out if Australian delegates at the CGF don't efficiently and effectively counter arguments against yet another Aussie or Anglo games, or perhaps some lingering resentment against Australians for being so critical of Delhi. If the shenanigans in the ICC with John Howard's candidacy for presidency show (as an example of what I think may happen) the Sri Lankans won't be frightened of playing as many cards they can in terms of third world or developing nation solidarity. And will the CGF be willing and able to avoid the dangers of Hambantota if the funds flow again in big rivers from the Sri Lankans (thanks to their Chinese benefactors)?

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The best thing about the Commonwealth Games is that the British countries can compete as seperate nations, particularly the channel islands and isle of man. This should be adopted by the IOC

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I'd love to believe that and to be honest I agree 110% Rols. But who is to say how things may pan out if Australian delegates at the CGF don't efficiently and effectively counter arguments against yet another Aussie or Anglo games, or perhaps some lingering resentment against Australians for being so critical of Delhi. If the shenanigans in the ICC with John Howard's candidacy for presidency show (as an example of what I think may happen) the Sri Lankans won't be frightened of playing as many cards they can in terms of third world or developing nation solidarity. And will the CGF be willing and able to avoid the dangers of Hambantota if the funds flow again in big rivers from the Sri Lankans (thanks to their Chinese benefactors)?

Barring the Chinese Navy blockading St Kitts next year, and maybe even if they did, I still can't see a wave-swept fishing hamlet of 15,000 getting the nod under any circumstances.

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Delhi's problems probably sparked greater interest in the Commonwealth Games. And Glasgow will go off just fine. But the future of the Games will be questioned as the Commonwealth itself is questioned. It is becoming a bit of a family reunion that is too many generations separated from their origins. "Why are we here again? And who are you?"

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The Commonwealth Games can't get too "Olympic" in size...they'll run out of potential hosts!

<_< Hence the reason for this thread discussion...

The CGF have really learned from this experience and oversized games with massive billion dollar investments are not the way to go.

The Commonwealth Games have been ruined by 2010 AS WELL AS India, they will be left heartbroken by this experience and whoe behold any government interest in hosting an Olympic Games before 2048, the already angry and disgruntalled populace simply will not allow it!

Glasgow will probibly be the dawn of a new era...The realisation that the CWGs are no longer taken seriously (and haven't since 1986) and should be about relaxation and freindship. There are more than enough inter Olympic events and meets every four years to guage athletic abilities.

If we are to broaden the CWG's host base then we need to get real. The games should be 'capped' to a US$1billion cost structure.

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Well, Jacques Rogge was reported to have attended the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games last Sunday. At least, it is not the Goodwill Games, which the IOC has rumored to have "blacklisted" it as "counter-productive to the IOC and the sporting movement in general."

Anyway, for some athletes from these nations that can compete in the Commonwealth Games, these Games could be their highest achievement they will ever have in their athletic careers. I bet trying to become an Olympic athlete is so challenging that some athletes just cannot reach that level of competition, no matter how hard or smart they try to be. The same thing could be said for those competing in other multi-sport events, like the Pan American Games, the Asian Games and so on.

So, the Commonwealth Games has some merit in being part of the international sporting calendar. It may not be the Olympic Games, as most cities around the world would love to have in their resumes, but some potential cities around the would could host other Games available to them, based on specific criteria each Games has for their potential host cities to have.

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First move has to be the removal of Mike Fennell. He's as arrogant as the Delhi team when faced in the press conferences when faced with the latest problems.

Delhi debacle could mark beginning of end for Games

Matt Wade

October 9, 2010

SWIMMERS have been ill, arousing fears they've been training in muddy waters. The ceiling of the weightlifting room collapsed, thankfully before competition, along with a bridge. The scoreboard at the rugby venue is falling down. Cobras have set up shop in the athletes' village. Athletics judges threaten to strike. Nothing else works here, why should they?

But the greatest disaster of Delhi 2010 hasn't been the litany of stuff-ups that defines these Games, as much as Ian Thorpe and Cathy Freeman defined Sydney 2000 and Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt were the poster boys of a pristine, totalitarian Beijing 2008. Delhi is chaos, Beijing was control.

Dysfunctional Delhi is the story, but, given that no one has died or been seriously injured to date, these many malfunctions aren't the deepest cut to the prestige or viability of the Commonwealth Games. The major crisis is not that the stands are hastily erected, unsafe or dilapidated. It's the fact that they're empty.

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Delhi is hosting the Invisible Games. With one or two notable exceptions, such as the near full house for the India-Australia hockey match on Thursday evening, the athletes are performing invisible personal bests. In Beijing, Big Brother was watching you; in Delhi, it's no one.

No amount of spin and comical denials from Delhi 2010's chief ''organiser'' Suresh Kalmadi - who increasingly sounds like the Iraqi information minister from Gulf War II - can mask the stunning lack of interest from the locals. Kalmadi claimed 20,000 were at the opening night of track and field. The real number, from my vantage point, was more like 8000.

At some venues, there seems to be more uniformed men with guns - the security presence is overwhelming - than spectators. Little wonder that an Indian government minister suggested that free tickets be handed out (presumably en masse) to schoolchildren.

The vacant rows of seats wouldn't be so damaging, though, if the television audience was large. An event such as the Commonwealth Games - based, as it is, on the flimsy pretext of pan-British connections - can remain relevant, strong and viable if it provides television networks with decent ratings; it can even be a virtual event, without spectators, given sufficient eyes on flat screens.

Alas, Delhi is not a box office success for TV, either. Ten's ratings, thus far, are well down on both Manchester 2002 and Melbourne 2006. The audience numbers are reportedly about half of Melbourne, which is bad news, not just for Ten but for the institution of the Commonwealth Games.

Like the British monarchy, it is an institution that rests on its popularity; once television loses interest and revenues dry up, there's a chance that the Commonwealth Games will shrivel into something closer to the Pan Pacs.

It's not only the fans who've ignored the Commonwealth Games. Many of the leading athletes, such as Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, have stayed away. Some cite security concerns. More ominously, some have higher priorities. The English cycling team, for instance, is without several leading riders, who have given priority to major European events.

Delhi won't be the last Commonwealth Games. But to borrow from one of the old British Empire's defenders, Winston Churchill, its failure might be the beginning of the end.

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Now if it had been all about cricket (with a bit of hockey thrown in),the stands would probably have collapsed from overcrowding!! B)

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