Manchester’s Olympic Bids

This relatively short account covers the period from 1984 onwards, when the first idea of bidding for the Olympics came up, through lessons from the unsuccessful bids for the Olympic Games to be held in 1992, 1996 and 2000, leading to the successful bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The major sporting facilities that Manchester gained of The National Cycling Centre Velodrome, Manchester Aquatics Centre Olympic Pool, Manchester Arena and Manchester City Football Club’s ground, the Manchester Stadium, are a testament to the vision of the people who persevered through the many setbacks.
Jump to Editor’s Comments

1985: Manchester's First Olympic Bid
1986-90: Manchester's Bid for the 1996 Olympic Games
1990-3: Bidding for the 2000 Olympic Games
Velodrome, Arena and Olympic Swimming Pool
Financial Benefits to the City
And the winner is...
1993-4: Bidding for the 2002 Commonwealth Games
City of Manchester Stadium


Previous Chapter Contents List Next Chapter

Editor’s Comments

This account is relatively short because Kath wasn’t interested in Sport. She does include some personal views on the matter. I’ve added the sub-headings, made minor typographical edits and added in some links to other sources of information.


[1] I don’t know whether it was the process of bidding for the Olympics that generated this aspiration or he had the aspiration first and the Olympics bid was just a step along the way.

[2] I think this name was originally coined by Eddie Turner, the Council’s Director of Land and Property, although he was very disparaging about the possibility of a successful sporting venue in such an area. His remarks to this effect during a speech to local businesses was reported in the press and, allegedly, contributed to his later dismissal from the Council.

[3] I’d heard at the time that there had been no real discussion in Sheffield’s Labour Group or Party about the bid. The later loss of Labour’s control of the Council was attributed to the Student games fiasco

[4] Ted Kitchen felt strongly that the main arena had to be next to a transport interchange and he talked to the developer, Norman Turner, about the Victoria station site. Part of the money received from the government was for clearing the site.

[5] Set up in 1991 to channel money originally donated by Littlewoods and other football pools companies to a wide range of sporting and artistic causes. It closed at the end of March 2012 with the last funding applications being accepted in March 2009. Source: viewed 28 Nov 2015.

[6] The Manchester City Stadium was renamed the Etihad Stadium on 2011 after signing a 10-year sponsorship deal with the airline Source:

Previous Chapter Contents List Next Chapter

Further Reading

  • Google books section of ‘Bidding for Development: How the Olympic Bid Process Can Accelerate Transportation Development (Sports Economics, Management and Policy)’ by Ngiste Abebe, Mary Trina Bolton, Maggie Pavelka, Morgan Pierstorff, 2013 (available to buy on
  • ‘Designing the City of Manchester Stadium’ by Martin Austin et al, 2003 (View PDF online)
  • Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence, Memorandum submitted by Manchester City Council and Manchester 2002 Limited, 22 April 1999 – gives much more detail about the process of bidding for the Commonwealth Games and the facilities developed as a result.
  • ‘Legacy of Commonwealth Games Lives on in Manchester’, by Alice McKeegan Manchester Evening News, 15 July 2014
  • John Major’s speech in Manchester on 23 April 1993 mentioning support for the Olympics bid for the 2000 Games.

Any inaccuracies or typos or comments? Add here:

%d bloggers like this: