Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Bailey_, Mar 9, 2010.
Do you live in Winnipeg, Winnipeg?
Well, London is closer for us over here so...
Kim - it's really nice and what's handy is you can leave the arena and walk to all sorts of nice places to eat, drink, shop etc., There are lots of hotels both closer to the arena and out to the highway - in addition many other cities are close by.. regular transport from Toronto and airline bus from Detroit airport and Toronto airport.. I don't live in London but agree it's a great choice - they did a great job for Nationals.. I'll have a vehicle again as well
Neither city is that difficult to get to, provided you dont have an aversion to small planes for the TO to London flight. How easy one place is to get to vs the other kinda depends on where youre coming from and what form of transportation youll be using, no? For those planning on driving, be prepared, parking really is a PITA.
Looking at the ticket prices for the Worlds in Calgary, it will be interesting to see how quickly the tickets sell. The lower-priced ones may go fast, but the top end are pretty pricey.
Considering how many seats will be reserved for the ISU and Skate Canada, I have no doubt that tickets will be in high demand and the event will sell out with no difficulty.
I still have to wonder if it was wise to limit the event to such a relatively-speaking, small arena. It's not nationals, this is the world championship. Big! Seems like a step back to me... I was in Calgary and I have to wonder if the relatively poor attendance was related to the fact that the event wasn't marketed very well. I have no doubt that Winnipeg would have sold out - given the response to other big events like the Brier, the world Jr hockey championships, concerts, etc... That venue has become one of the premier venues in terms of selling out and maximizing revenue because community support is strong. But, it's a done deal at this point and London will be wonderful - it was wonderful this past year at nationals. I would love to go but I'm not too excited to go back to London and I fear that it will be really hard to get tickets.
Thanks from me, as well.
The relatively poor attendance in Calgary was probably more due to it being a post-Oly's Worlds than anything else.
I think also that the Olympics in Torino were more accessible for Europeans than Sochi will be. The logistics of Sochi might not be possible for a lot of people in Europe who could fly into Toronto easily and directly from European hubs for the post-Olympic Worlds.
I don't think anything stops fans from Japan.
The vast majority of European figure skating fans tend not to travel Worlds outside of Europe. Sochi isn't going to factor into their decisions one way or the other.
There are direct flights from Europe to Toronto, but the skaters flying in are going to face a two hour coach trip to get to (fake) London after their flights and going back will have to leave 5-6 hours ahead of their flights to make sure they arrive on time at Pearson. Two hours from a proper international airport is just unacceptable for a host city for a World Championships.
Let's hope nobody's luggage gets lost.
I guess no more WC's for Dortmund again, then. Isn't Nagano a long trip from the nearest proper international airport? Everyone I spoke to who went from NA traveled through Tokyo.
Damn, doesn't it just suck that Canada's such a friggin' big country with so many arenas and so few proper international airports. Guess that's what we get for being the Imperialists and having the nerve to leave the homeland...
Dortmund is 45 minutes from Dusseldorf Airport on a direct train. So I guess Dortmund can have Worlds again.
And Nagano is a bit of a journey from Tokyo. Which is why Worlds next year was moved there from Tokyo. You can still get from Tokyo to Nagano in 79 minutes if you want though by a frequent, reliable and comfortable train service.
Does anyone know typically when tickets for a World's event go on sale ? I read one of the articles that tickets for Worlds 2013 would go on sale Spring of 2011 - is that normal ? Typically 1 year before event tickets go on sale. Just asking and thinking ahead.
The athletes still have to shlug their stuff from the terminal to the platform and wait for the connection -- I did it in 2004 -- and how does that affect whether or not someone's luggage is lost? What is the big difference between a private coach that picks them up from the terminal and a train?
For the athletes, London should be fine. For spectators, it's harder relying on public transportation that isn't scheduled around a skating event, but it's doable. It's easier having to make no connection at all, but that's not the case for all events, in Europe or in Asia, either.
I can't imagine the athletes having much of an issue as they are used to traveling to events. If anything, this location is familiar to many (plus the coaches, officials etc) because they've been there for Cdns, or other events in southeastern Ontario and the GTA. Plus all the skaters who train in the northeastern US won't have to change timezones, or altitude
Yes, I'm sure the Czechs, Germans, French and Japanese etc will be very familiar with (fake) London having been there for Canadians and other regional Ontario events.
Has altitude been a problem at Worlds recently?
Skate Canada was in Kitchener-Waterloo this season, and in recent years international events have also been held in Hamilton and Mississauga.
As for Cdns, there may not be any international skaters there, but there are coaches from other countries, and various ISU officials.
No not recently - I just threw it in based on memories of Skate America in Colorado Springs a few times, not to mention SLC Olys.
From memory, that was made worse in Calgary because the head of one of the tour groups complained about people walking past his group. Security then stopped people doing that. I don't think people were walking past during the skating.
Walking past his group on the concourse?
They will not have to take a coach to get to London. They will simply transfer to another plane and fly into the London International Airport. Those of us who live in London do it all the time. Some of us will actually have to take 3 planes to get to and from Canadians in Victoria next year and it all seems quite normal. Please stop being so dramatic about the accessibilty to London!
The level of whining is amazing and then trying to say "it's all about the skaters" Umm.... I don't buy that. Skaters go to all kinds of strange places to compete and live. They will be just fine. Some of them actually have families in the "middle of no where" where there aren't ANY flights and they probably survive that. If they are that delicate that this is a major issue then I don't see how they survive any travel to any events.
Not to mention that flight schedules in June 2010 probably bear little if any resembalance to what we might or might now see in 2013.......
Fly, drive whatever.....
I'm over all the about the skary, skary highway.
Meh, my house is about 2 hours away from the 2 airports I most frequently use as well. (by train, bus, public transport) Never mind if I fly from Brussels or Dusseldorf/Weeze, that's even worse.
to take a bus for 2 hours sounds fine by me.... I plan to visit. Anyway I often fly with Ryanair within Europe ... I am used to landing in the middle of nowhere
Skaters will probably find themselves an easy way, or the organisation will, I am sure
No, in the seating area.
Thanks William for your very professional and informative post. Everything you say makes perfectly good sense and is completely in line with my opinion of Skate Canada as a very professional and transparent organization.
Have you driven it?
I live 2 blocks from the 401. I drive it every day. I drive almost the length of it at least once a month.
You must be used to it then - my sincere condolences. It's just not something I like to do, especially in bad winter conditions. I think it is the truck traffic. When I lived in southern Ontario, I dreaded having to drive the 401 or the 402. It is one of the worst I have driven in NA, with one exception and that is the hwy between Boston and Providence.
I have been badly spoiled by Winnipeg's easy going, easy to get around sort of city.............
I've driven much of the 401. We took it home from Lake Placid one year (in early April, not much later than the 2013 Worlds will be). I've also driven it several times between Windsor and the Niagara region. I'll admit it is no fun around Toronto, but then again driving around a lot of major cities is no fun.
I have driven the 401 from Windsor to as far as Quebec and the only really horrible part is getting through Toronto. I absolutely agree that the truck traffic is probably the worst of that, along with the volume of traffic. Fortunately, anyone driving to London from Toronto will only face traffic volume issues if they are heading out of the city at the end of a work day. If they can time their commutes around that window, they will likely be fine.
As for winter conditions, one can never tell what we will have. My DD was born in March (her birthday typically falls during Worlds) and some years we have been in short sleeves and other years there has been snow but I don't remember anything really horrific weather-wise during her birthday for the last 18 years.
The 402 has never been a terrible drive for me either, other than that I find it rather boring because there isn't much to see along that highway, and you do have to mind the speed limits as there are often speed traps along it.
I really don't see London as a bad choice. I enjoyed Nationals there this year and have found many of the comments here puzzling. I certainly never felt unsafe as one poster stated and thought the downtown area was fine. I actually would have like to have seen more of it but was kept fairly busy watching skating lol! My only complaint would really be parking. It was sometimes difficult to find so you really do need to leave yourself lots of time, and be prepared for a walk in the event you must park at a distance. Other than that, I quite enjoyed it.
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.
William Thompsons post was interesting to read. Hes 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 Londons 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 $$S seems to have trumped any downsides to Londons bid.
But Williams post has sidestepped the practical issues that people are concerned about.
London only has about 3,300 hotel rooms. Thats a simple fact - right from the website of Tourism London.
[As a comparison, Calgary (venue of last Worlds held in Canada) has over 11,000 hotel rooms
How much of Londons limited hotel capacity will be needed for athletes/coaches/federations/ISU/SkateCanada/judges/media, etc at a pre-Olympic Worlds?
If they can be housed in 600 or so rooms, it may be OK. But what if they need, say, 1,500 rooms or more? Keep in mind that London has businesses and a major university that also draw hotel traffic. That will not stop just because a figure skating competition is coming to town. You dont need a medical convention(major or otherwise). If normal business traffic keeps hotels only about 30% full (which seems low), thats 1,100 rooms taken right there. And that traffic has to exist at some reasonable level, otherwise these properties couldnt stay in business theyre not empty all the time.
That doesnt leave much hotel space for people coming from out of town to see Worlds. Whether you are travelling from Toronto or Tokyo, youre going to need a place to stay.
Since a sellout of the event seems to be so important to SC, they should be concerned about this. A certain proportion of ticket sales is going to come from out-of-towners. Yes, they got a lot of local support for Nationals. But keep in mind that ticket prices for Nationals and Skate Canada Intl are pretty modestly priced around $200 for the whole event (and tickets for individual events priced proportionately). Not hard to see that casual fans might spend that kind of money to check out a local event, make it a family outing, etc.
But tickets for Worlds are priced at about 3 or 4 times that level (or even more). To shell out that much $$$, 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 ISUs 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, its a two hour drive from Toronto. But if you cant get a hotel room, youre looking at a 4 hour daily commute. Which isnt very convenient.
How the JLC will possibly have the working space to accommodate the needs of worldwide media is another problem entirely.
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..
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.
hmm..since when is hamilton 2 hours away. I usually make it to london in about 1.5 hours..sometimes less
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.
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.
Being only an hour away from London I'm saying
I'm planning on attending my first Worlds and getting excited about it already.
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?
and the only option from Toronto airport to the city is a cab? Busses are not running?
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