Patrick K. Magyar, CEO of Zürich 2014, gives a positive summary of the six-day championships. “We had a number of goals, and we achieved them all.”
“We have achieved all important goals we had envisaged when we submitted our bid for the 22nd European Athletics Championships,” Magyar explained in a first assessment. “We were able to boost athletics among children and young people, we got to introduce a large number of people to our fantastic sport. We were able to use the championships for location marketing purposes, and we organised great competitions in a wonderful atmosphere.”
Many statistics on the event are impressive: More than 115 000 children participated in over 800 UBS Kids Cup events, a three-discipline competition. A hugely promising sign for the future athletics.
Even though the qualifying standards for the European championships were the same as in the past, more than twice as many Swiss athletes qualified than four years ago. And the young national team did exceptionally well, indicating their potential for the future.
“80,7% of seats sold for six evening or afternoon sessions, 148‘432 stadium visitors during all ten sessions, some 100 000 spectators at road races, and more than 200 000 visitors at the City Festival show, that we were able to introduce a tremendous amount of people to our sport,” explained Magyar. “Of course, we would have loved to have a sold-out stadium. Perhaps, our price policy was not ideal, or perhaps, we could not convince sports fans to attend the event early enough. However, the atmosphere at the stadium was always wonderful, an aspect which TV images managed to convey beautifully. All in all, the European Athletics Championships were a great opportunity to promote Zurich and Switzerland.”
CEO Magyar is particularly proud of his team of volunteers, who helped make the event possible. “We knew that it would be a logistical challenge to organise European Athletics Championships in Zurich. But with the commitment of volunteers, members of the Swiss Armed Forces and the Protection and Rescue Service, police, and various institutions of the City and the Canton of Zurich, we were able to provide great conditions and smooth procedures for all athletes. Some very few, isolated errors should not diminish the success record of a truly outstanding event.”