The planets are aligning. France 2023 and Paris 2024 are still looking ahead, counting down the days. D – 71 for the Rugby World Cup, D – 392 for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The roadmaps and deadlines of the two organising committees have little in common. But this weekend, the two events are tackling the same subject: legacy. A sign of the times, it is conjugated in the present tense.
The occasion: the annual general meeting of Territoires d’événements sportifs (TES), the association of host cities for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France and the Paris 2024 Games. The meeting began on Thursday 29 June in Nice. It continues this Friday in the same city, which, like a handful of others, is involved in both global events.
Legacy, then. A common thread running through the meeting, one of the priorities of the “new norm” for major sporting events, to use an expression used by the IOC since the Rio 2016 Games. Yesterday, it was an afterthought, once the curtain had come down. Today, it is being built even before the match or the opening ceremony.
Paris 2024, first of all. At the initiative of TES, a workshop was organised on Thursday 29 June at the Allianz Arena in Nice. Around the table were representatives of the host cities of the Games, the IOC, the CNOSF and Paris 2024. On the agenda: the legacy of the Olympic brands. In other words, the way in which the cities directly involved in the Olympic and Paralympic competitions will be able to keep the memory of the event alive in the years and decades to come.
Antoine Chinès, General Delegate of TES, explains: “The range is very broad, including the rings, the Paralympic agitos, commemorative plaques, symbols, but also place names to serve a narrative. Legacy can be tangible or intangible. It can be an exhibition, the marking of a course used in a competition, a work of art, but also a name.” The town of Châteauroux, where the shooting events will take place, could, for example, rename its national training and competition complex to make it Olympic.
“All towns and cities are interested, with Paris and the Seine-Saint-Denis municipalities concerned being a priority,” continues Antoine Chinès. “There are many ways of preserving the memory of the event, but they are regulated. For example, it is strictly forbidden to add a commercial or advertising dimension to this legacy. The request must make sense, both for the community and for the IOC, which is the decision-maker and owner of its brands”.
In short, the cities propose, the IOC and the IPC dispose. It will be up to TES to draw up a standard form for host cities during the second half of the year, and then to set up a platform where the proposals will be collated. The IOC’s Heritage Department will then examine the applications on a case-by-case basis before giving its decision.
France 2023, now. The World Cup is fast approaching. For the tournament’s ten host cities, the legacy is already tangible. It’s even built into the budget.
Under the terms of an agreement reached with the Organising Committee, 30% of the profits expected from the competition will go to local authorities, half of which will go to the cities that have hosted matches, all of which are members of TES (the remaining 70% will go to the rugby family). It is estimated that up to €7 million could go to the host cities, i.e. €700,000 for each of them.
What is new is that some of the money can be paid in advance. A legacy before its time, in short. Eight of the ten host cities of the 2023 World Cup will now receive part of their share of the expected profits, with an initial payment of 224,000 euros.
The money is to be used to finance projects to renovate rugby pitches and facilities. Most of the work has already begun. The aim is to inaugurate the facility in September or October, during the 2023 World Cup. Heritage at the heart of the action.
Less directly concerned, and above all less visible, the cities hosting a team’s base camp or training site have not been forgotten. At the initiative of TES, they have been allocated a budget of one million euros to bring their facilities – pitches, halls and body-building equipment – up to the standards required for the event and to meet the expectations of the facilities. Once again, a form of legacy for amateur sport.