Alan Marsh, the CEO of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, has praised the legacies created in the Australian city by hosting the 2000 Olympic Games and emphasised the importance of having proper post-Games plans in place.
Marsh singled out the economic benefits created by staging the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and highlighted how the Games were a catalyst for Sydney to host further major events in the future.
“The success of the 2000 Olympic Games left a lasting economic legacy for the people of Sydney,” he told Olympic.org. “In addition, the capability of Australia to successfully stage the Summer Games brought the world’s attention to the capabilities of Australian companies and individuals in a way not otherwise possible.
“In addition to the creation of a world-class major events precinct – which has allowed Sydney to host a number of major events, such as the Rugby World Cup and the World Masters Games – the facilities within Sydney Olympic Park have allowed Sydney to attract major entertainment and convention/exhibition events.”
Mike Powell /Allsport; Scott Barbour/Allsport
Now a thriving suburb
The Park, which was built especially for the 2000 Games, has since become a thriving commercial, residential and sporting suburb, hosting over 130 organisations, employing more than 12,000 people and delivering considerable economic benefits to the country. And Marsh believes these facilities are one of the most significant legacies of the 2000 Olympic Games.
“With the completion of Sydney Olympic Park, Australia gained a fully integrated major events precinct, combining world-class venues with dedicated transport systems, managed by high-quality venue management teams, and an experienced precinct management organisation, the Sydney Olympic Park Authority,” he said. “This has resulted in the Park’s venues becoming the default venues for major sporting events, entertainment acts and exhibitions.”
International events at Olympic Park venues
The former Olympic Stadium – located within the Park – now plays host to around 45 events each year, including rugby league, Australian Rules, soccer, rugby union and cricket, as well as international entertainment acts such as AC/DC, U2 and the Rolling Stones. Similarly, other Olympic Park venues have attracted international events, such as track and field events to the Athletic Centre, swimming, diving and water polo events to the Aquatic Centre and major entertainment acts to the indoor arena.
“Almost 6,000 events a year and 12 million people passing through the Park in 2011 would seem to be a significant measure of success, with both numbers expected to grow further in the future,” added Marsh. “These activities generate in excess of AU$1 billion in economic activity for New South Wales annually and this number will continue to grow as more businesses move into the Park and even more events are held at the Park.”
The importance of planning
Marsh was keen, however, to stress the importance of planning with regards to post-Games legacies. “The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games were the first Games to explicitly incorporate legacy planning into the Olympic bid, outlining a future for the Games infrastructure that extended beyond the hosting period,” he said.
“The legacy with respect to sport, the environment and venues were well thought out in advance of the Games, particularly at Sydney Olympic Park. The Master Plan for the commercial components of the Park was put in-place post-Games but has proven to be a considerable success.”
"Master Plan 2030"
Sydney Olympic Park has also been the subject of a succession of forward planning blueprints designed to ensure that the Park builds on the legacy of the Games.
“The most recent of these documents, Master Plan 2030, outlines the forward vision for the Park for the next 20 years,” said Marsh. “The goal of the Master Plan is that by 2030 the Park will be home to a daily population of 50,000 workers, students and residents and will play host to another 25,000 visitors daily. Current progress on meeting the objectives of the master Plan are well in hand, with the first residents moving into the Park earlier this year.”