Canada bidding for 2013 world championship

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Bailey_, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Taxis are another option if you really don't want to walk or can't find parking nearby. Not expensive, especially if several are sharing the ride.
     
  2. snobben2345

    snobben2345 New Member

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    William Thompson’s post was interesting to read. He’s given a plausible explanation for how and why SC made its decision.

    From my reading of his post, two factors seem to have tipped the balance in London’s direction: the expectation of a sellout and the “government support” that came with the London bid. I take that to mean taxpayer dollars at some level(s) are being used to underwrite /subsidize the costs that SC will incur in hosting the event. That $$S seems to have trumped any downsides to London’s bid.

    But William’s post has sidestepped the practical issues that people are concerned about.

    London only has about 3,300 hotel rooms. That’s a simple fact - right from the website of Tourism London.
    http://www.londontourism.ca/Meeting-Planners/Why-London
    [As a comparison, Calgary (venue of last Worlds held in Canada) has over 11,000 hotel rooms
    http://www.meetingscalgary.com/index.php?page=accommodations-2]

    How much of London’s limited hotel capacity will be needed for athletes/coaches/federations/ISU/SkateCanada/judges/media, etc at a pre-Olympic Worlds?

    If they can be housed in 600 or so rooms, it may be OK. But what if they need, say, 1,500 rooms or more? Keep in mind that London has businesses and a major university that also draw hotel traffic. That will not stop just because a figure skating competition is coming to town. You don’t need a “medical convention”(major or otherwise). If normal business traffic keeps hotels only about 30% full (which seems low), that’s 1,100 rooms taken right there. And that traffic has to exist at some reasonable level, otherwise these properties couldn’t stay in business – they’re not empty all the time.

    That doesn’t leave much hotel space for people coming from out of town to see Worlds. Whether you are travelling from Toronto or Tokyo, you’re going to need a place to stay.

    Since a sellout of the event seems to be so important to SC, they should be concerned about this. A certain proportion of ticket sales is going to come from out-of-towners. Yes, they got a lot of local support for Nationals. But keep in mind that ticket prices for Nationals and Skate Canada Int’l are pretty modestly priced – around $200 for the whole event (and tickets for individual events priced proportionately). Not hard to see that casual fans might spend that kind of money to check out a local event, make it a family outing, etc.

    But tickets for Worlds are priced at about 3 or 4 times that level (or even more). To shell out that much $$$, you need a certain degree of commitment, like that shown by people who travel to see events or make it their vacation. Those fans are a core group of SC and the ISU’s “customer base”, and their needs should be taken into account. In any other business, repeat customers are highly valued and treated accordingly.

    Unfortunately, I have the impression that the PTB in skating often tend to take fans for granted, and operate on the assumption that fans will put up with just about anything to watch the sport, so that little effort needs to be made to cater to them. (This observation does not apply to the skaters, most of whom are wonderful to their fans).

    Has SC assessed the availability of hotel space in London for out-of-town ticket buyers? Or is the only concern that there be enough hotel space for the athletes, judges, officials? Is SC going to offer buyers of all-event ticket packages the chance to book hotel space at a convention rate? Or does SC expect fans to support the event while fending for themselves, like maybe having to pay five star hotel rates for a two star property, because of market demand?

    Lots of comments in this thread about how London is accessible, not that hard to get to, yada yada. Yup, it’s a two hour drive from Toronto. But if you can’t get a hotel room, you’re looking at a 4 hour daily commute. Which isn’t very convenient.

    How the JLC will possibly have the working space to accommodate the needs of worldwide media is another problem entirely.
     
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  3. jp1andonly

    jp1andonly Well-Known Member

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    not going to comment on anything but many teams do not stay in the host hotel and like to stay in places just outside the venue. There are towns and cities close to london that have hotels for those that want them..

     
  4. snobben2345

    snobben2345 New Member

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    The largest hotel in London is the Hilton, with about 300 rooms. I assume it will be the host hotel. 300 rooms is a mid-size (not large) hotel, at best.

    I don't know what nearby towns and cities you are referring to. The city of London is very spread out. Toronto and Hamilton are about 2 hours away. Stratford is one hour away. I can understand athletes wanting to be away from the busy pace of the host hotel, but I would think that you'd want to stay *within the city limits* of the place you are competing and not undertake hours of commuting to/from.
     
  5. jp1andonly

    jp1andonly Well-Known Member

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    hmm..since when is hamilton 2 hours away. I usually make it to london in about 1.5 hours..sometimes less :)

     
  6. snobben2345

    snobben2345 New Member

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    Great –you’ve just proved my point.

    Neither spectators or competitors should have to spend 3 hours (1.5 hours each way)commuting from their hotel to a competition venue. Nor should any other inter-city commute (of whatever duration) be required. If that is necessary, the host city has inadequate capacity, by definition.

    If you’re an athlete, arriving late is not an option. So you have allow for extra time in case of traffic congestion (unheard of in southern Ontario, right?), and leave early, thus cutting into rest (or other preparation) time.
    Plus, there is always the risk in March of a snowstorm or freezing rain that could complicate driving conditions. You can’t predict the weather that far in advance.

    If you are the coach of an elite athlete who has to perform in a sport that demands focus and concentration, why on earth would you run even slightest risk of having your athletes distracted by the additional stress of an inter—city commute *on the day of competition*? And not just any competition, but Worlds where placement will affect Olympic spots.

    This shouldn’t be a scenario that anyone should have to even consider, much less endure. If it comes down to that, this event will have serious problems.

    I’m glad that Worlds has been awarded to Canada. But the host federation has a responsibility to make sure that the event is hosted in a location that can properly accommodate the attendees. SC may indeed have done its due diligence. I’m open to being convinced. But based on what I saw at Nationals in January and having read William Thompson’s post, right now I don’t have any confidence that SC made the right decision.

    Edited to add: I have no vested interest in Winnipeg at all - never been there. It makes no difference to me what city in Canada gets to host Worlds, so long as the host city has suitable capacity. IMO, London doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  7. lexeoe

    lexeoe New Member

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    i think before any bid was forwarded to the ISU, i'm certain everything was done accordingly and was deemed sufficient or else they won't put it forward. there will always be pros and cons and there will always be people who will be accepting the results and there will be those who will not accept it at all in anyway.

    just my 2 cents.
     
  8. professordeb

    professordeb Well-Known Member

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    Being only an hour away from London I'm saying
    Wheeeeeeeeeee!
    I'm planning on attending my first Worlds and getting excited about it already.
     
  9. Winnipeg

    Winnipeg Well-Known Member

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    snobbin makes some good points. Expecting athletes and even attendees to commute daily for over an hour each day is not reasonable.

    I've attended Worlds in Dortmund, Edmonton and Vancouver and in all three cases, accommodation was no problem and travel to and from the venue no problem - Vancouver we walked, Dortmund has an excellent subway which took about 10 minutes each way from the venue and our hotel - very easy. The train station also had access to trains outside of Dortmund if you were on vacation and wanted to see another area while in Germany. For example, we took the train to Berlin out of the same station we took the train to the venue - the station was across the street from the hotel - very convenient indeed. The station also had trains directly to the Frankfurt airport terminal.

    While it is true there is a train from Toronto to London, it leaves out of downtown Toronto, not the airport. Downtown is about a 50 dollar cab ride from the TO airport. Also, unlike in Germany, the options for trains are much less frequent.

    Edmonton also has a great public transport option for visitors as does Calgary.

    In any event, this location, IMHO, would not be as convenient and does not lend itself as a great vacation spot for folks outside of the general area - albeit there are a lot of folks in the general area which will help sell it out I'm sure!

    Maybe some locals will open temporary B and B's?
     
  10. and the only option from Toronto airport to the city is a cab? Busses are not running? o_O
     
  11. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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    Have we reached 1000 posts in this thread yet? Feels like it! ;)
     
  12. Bailey_

    Bailey_ Guest

    1001...

    I looked into train from Toronto to London last winter for nationals. If I remember correctly, the cost was approximately $100 each way - not practical if you are having to commute every day due to lack of hotel room availability and not even practical just to get to London - that's why I had a layover and flew into the city. There is no GO Train to London.

    And, I've taken the subway/bus connection to get from downtown Toronto to the airport. It's been a few years, but that was also not convenient for anyone trying it. Why the subway line did not extend to the airport I do not understand? Maybe it's changed, I don't know. The airport is quite a distance from downtown - I'm sure the cab fare would be a fair chunk of change.

    I think some important questions have been raised in recent posts. Having been to national and world competitions and having been to events in both arenas, I have serious concerns for the ability of the city and the JLC to host an event of this size. Yes, they did a great job with nationals and it will sell out but I think Winnipeg would have sold out too. And, knowing the services available in Winnipeg - hotels, restaurants (I just learned that they are demolishing a building across from the arena to develop restaurants and sports bars), the new Human Rights Museum, the new airport - so many great things are happening in Winnipeg right now, I still feel like SC has missed the boat and limited themselves by awarding the event to London.
     
  13. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

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    No, they have a shuttle bus that runs from the airport to the downtown hotels- every half hour or so. Just ask for the Royal York- it's across the street from the train station.

    http://www.torontoairportexpress.com/
     
  14. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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    Lets move it to Windsor.
     
  15. yfbg722

    yfbg722 Active Member

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    I believe Mr. Thompson stated that Canadians sold out over the weekend this year. I know for a fact that hotel rooms were still available as of the Saturday so there won't be a problem with anyone who wants a room getting one. The number of tickets sold, if the events sells out, will be the same so Canadians was a good test run for Worlds. While it's perhaps true that more people from out of town will want to come to this competition, the local fan base will likely be out in force too so I don't see there being any major difference.
     
    geoskate and (deleted member) like this.
  16. SpeedySucks

    SpeedySucks Member

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    The big difference between Canadians and Worlds is that Worlds will require far more hotel rooms for skaters, officials, and media. There will probably be 3-4 times (at least) the number of media at Worlds as there was at Canadians. Generally, there are enough media at major sports events to take up one hotel by themselves. ISU officials (and major sponsors) will take up another hotel, and the skaters and coaches will take up at least 1, if not 2 hotels as well. That leaves only a few hotels in downtown London available for fans.
     
  17. Former Lurve Goddess

    Former Lurve Goddess Active Member

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    You can take a cheap TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) "airport rocket" bus from the airport, which transfers to the subway, which gets you to the coach terminal and the train station. It's not Europe-easy, but it's quite doable, especially if you stop for:40beers: at the end.
     
  18. 4rkidz

    4rkidz plotting, planning and travelling

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    We hosted an international conference in London and it took about an hour from Hamilton... similar times for Kitchener/Waterloo - However there are closer communities that also have hotel rooms (Woodstock - 25 mins, Brantford - 35 mins, Chatham).. We also arranged great airport transportation with Robert Q Airbus for those delegates arriving by plane from Hamilton, Kitchener (Waterloo international airport), Detroit, Toronto and even Buffalo.. Although many just caught another flight directly to London.. I also recall when London Ontario hosted the World Synchro's and other world class events (hockey)- hotel rooms were not an issue.. and unlike other Provinces - Southern Ontario has many communities and cities close by.. :)
     
  19. lexeoe

    lexeoe New Member

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    is the 100CAD 1 way or roundtrip? i made a tried pricing an itinerary on via rail for a 1way from Union Station to London its 45.20CAD for an economy super saver fare.
     
  20. Winnipeg

    Winnipeg Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there are lots of options. They are just not convenient. Even taking transit within London to get from the hotel (if it outside of walking distance) is possible but inconvenient for people who are considering going that are from out of the area.
     
  21. professordeb

    professordeb Well-Known Member

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    When I was in London for Canadians, I wasn't allowed to drive the measly hour from Sarnia to London so I took a Robert Q and then a cab to the B&B where I was staying.
    Shared cab fares to and from the arena with others staying there so cab fare cost for me per day was about $10 which was more costly than the bus I was planning to take, but more convenient. I really didn't find it that big a deal for cab fare and if you are staying at a hotel with other skating fans, I would think one could find at least someone else who is willing to share cab fare.
    Unless I am familiar with an area, I find getting to a place and getting around can be an inconvenience - if I choose to look at it that way. Instead, I try to consider it an opportunity to explore new places and meet new people who share a love of figure skating - something I don't get much here at home.
    I would say to those who think that going to London is too difficult a task, they can perhaps choose one of these options
    - stay home and watch it on TV/internet
    - go to it and complain to all how difficult it was for you and how it would have been soooooo much better if it were held in _______
    - go and find enjoyment in the fact that you are going to see world class athletes, see some new sights and maybe even meet some FSUers!
    As for me, I plan to choose the last option - unless of course I can't go for some reason and I will then revert to first option.
    Really, Canada is hosting this wonderful competition and we would rather bicker amongst ourselves because of location? I find it funny.
     
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  22. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Bold is an option.
     
  23. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    If Vancouver/Whistler managed to accommodate the numbers attending the Olympics, I'd guess that London will find a way to accommodate those needing accommodation for the WC. If rooms are limited I would expect the hotel community and event planners from different sectors to consider the accommodation demands of a major event such as a WC.

    The logical move for fans who already know they want to attend is to book early.:)
     
  24. kimkom

    kimkom Two Pot Screamer

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    Absolutely! I'll be booking at the earliest date they allow. :lol: