Agreement reached for Wembley Arena to host Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics in 2012
LAUSANNE (SUI), FIG Office, May 27, 2010: The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) have agreed that Wembley Arena in North London will be the location of the Olympic sports of Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics in 2012. Further detailed plans for the venue will now be discussed with all stakeholders.
The sports of Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics were initially earmarked during the bid phase to take place at a temporary venue in Greenwich, but Wembley Arena, which became available after the bid phase, has been now been selected as the most suitable venue. The World Badminton Championships will also take place at Wembley Arena in 2011.
Sebastian Coe, LOCOG Chair, said: “We are delighted to have reached this agreement with the BWF and FIG and I would like to thank them for their full co-operation and support. We will now work through all the detailed arrangements with them and Wembley Arena to put on first class events. This is a big boost to north London which will be a hub for the London 2012 Olympics with the football finals happening at Wembley Stadium.'
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and Olympics, said: “I welcome the BWF’s and FIG’s decisions. It is sensible during these difficult economic times to make use of an existing and well established facility. Wembley Arena will be an excellent venue for fans and participants of both sports and I hope they will inspire many others to take up Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'I am delighted that by using one of London's existing world-class venues, we have saved millions of pounds in the 2012 budget. LOCOG and the international federations for Badminton and Gymnastics are to be congratulated for finding a way to use the fantastic facilities at Wembley Arena. With the ODA simultaneously doing a great job of bringing in the new venues on time and on budget, we are in good shape to host a world-beating Games without spending beyond our means.'
Denis Oswald, Chairman of the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the London 2012 Olympic Games, commented: “This is an important milestone in London 2012’s planning for the Games. With the venue for Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics confirmed, LOCOG will be able to advance full steam ahead with its planning. We would like to congratulate the Badminton World Federation, the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique, and LOCOG on finding the best solution for the athletes and the Games. We look forward to seeing some fantastic sporting endeavors at Wembley Arena in 2012.”
BWF President, Dr Kang Young Joong (ROK), said: “The athletes’ interest has been the central factor in our discussions with LOCOG and we are pleased that the plans put in place will live up to our expectations. We thank LOCOG for their efforts and commitment throughout the whole process and discussions. Wembley Arena has a long history of hosting Badminton events and we look forward to seeing great badminton being played there again – both during the London 2012 Olympic Games and at the 2011 London BWF World Championships.”
FIG President, Prof. Bruno Grandi (ITA), said: “ I am happy that a good solution could be found in the interest of our athletes and wish to thank LOCOG for their comprehension.”