Fly, drive whatever.....
I'm over all the about the skary, skary highway.
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
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.
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 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 $$S seems to have trumped any downsides to London’s bid.
But William’s post has sidestepped the practical issues that people are concerned about.
London only has about 3,300 hotel rooms. That’s a simple fact - right from the website of Tourism London.
[As a comparison, Calgary (venue of last Worlds held in Canada) has over 11,000 hotel rooms
How much of London’s limited hotel capacity will be needed for athletes/coaches/federations/ISU/SkateCanada/judges/media, etc at a pre-Olympic Worlds?
If they can be housed in 600 or so rooms, it may be OK. But what if they need, say, 1,500 rooms or more? Keep in mind that London has businesses and a major university that also draw hotel traffic. That will not stop just because a figure skating competition is coming to town. You don’t need a “medical convention”(major or otherwise). If normal business traffic keeps hotels only about 30% full (which seems low), that’s 1,100 rooms taken right there. And that traffic has to exist at some reasonable level, otherwise these properties couldn’t stay in business – they’re not empty all the time.
That doesn’t leave much hotel space for people coming from out of town to see Worlds. Whether you are travelling from Toronto or Tokyo, you’re going to need a place to stay.
Since a sellout of the event seems to be so important to SC, they should be concerned about this. A certain proportion of ticket sales is going to come from out-of-towners. Yes, they got a lot of local support for Nationals. But keep in mind that ticket prices for Nationals and Skate Canada Int’l are pretty modestly priced – around $200 for the whole event (and tickets for individual events priced proportionately). Not hard to see that casual fans might spend that kind of money to check out a local event, make it a family outing, etc.
But tickets for Worlds are priced at about 3 or 4 times that level (or even more). To shell out that much $$$, 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.
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.
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 by snobben2345; 06-29-2010 at 06:03 AM. Reason: forgot to add comment
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.
Crazy about sports!
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? O.oWhile 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.