independent

Monday 21 April 2014

London bids to host 2017 Paralympic Games

London entered the race to host the 2017 Paralympic Athletics World Championships today.

The formal bid submitted by London mayor Boris Johnson would see the event staged at the Olympic Stadium, just a month before the venue hosts the World Athletics Championships.

A successful bid would make London the first city to host the two championships side-by-side.

A £8.6 million estimate has been put on staging the Paralympic Athletics World Championships. The vast majority is expected to be recouped by ticket sales and sponsorship, officials say

Around 1,500 leading Paralympic athletes from up to 100 countries would be set to compete.

The formal bid was submitted to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Talks about the bid have been held between the mayor and the IPC, UK Athletics and UK Sport.

The London bid proposes that the IPC Athletics World Championships would be held in the third week in July 2017. This would give a two week window to change the stadium overlay and signage from the IAAF Championships.

Johnson is also chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation which is in charge of securing an economically viable future for the Olympic Park site in Stratford, east London.

He said: "The huge appetite for tickets to the 2012 Games this summer shows the level of excitement Paralympic sport can generate, and forever changed the way we think about disabled sport.

"The 2017 IPC World Championships present a fantastic opportunity for us to build on that phenomenal surge of enthusiasm, and welcome back some of the world's greatest sportsmen and women to the Olympic Stadium.

"Securing the championships would not only reinforce London's reputation as the world's leading sporting city, it would bring a vital multi-million pound boost to the capital's economy, creating jobs and driving growth in east London."

UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner said: "This summer's Paralympic Games demonstrated the huge appeal of elite disability athletics for the British public as well as London's ability to host the world's biggest sporting events to the most exacting standards.

"I'm delighted that the city has decided to build on the success of the Paralympics by bidding to host the IPC's flagship athletics event in the Olympic Stadium in 2017 and believe that, if successful, London would establish a new standard for the IPC World Athletics Championships against which all future editions would be measured."

The 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships held in Christchurch, New Zealand, hosted 1,151 athletes from more than 70 countries. It generated a national economic impact of approximately 19.6m dollars (£12.3m) including spending outside Christchurch.

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