Coubertin Quote for May, 11
Stadiums are being built unwisely all over the place … Almost all the stadiums built in recent years are the result of local and, too often, commercial interests, not Olympic interests at all.Share
It seems that Baron Pierre de Coubertin would not hesitate to jump into the controversies surrounding the construction of new stadiums in our day. This quote, taken from his article on the “Educational Use of Athletic Activity,” which was published in Le Sport Suisse in November 1928, indicates the Baron may have been a forerunner of today’s sustainability leaders. Under the subhead “Too Many Stadiums,” the Baron attacked the overt commercial interests that were pushing for unnecessary construction at the time. Once again, it seems, we find lessons in his early Olympic experience that have been ignored at high costs today. The Baron feared that if commercial interests gained more control, they would ultimately corrupt the athletes.
"Stadiums are being built unwisely all over the place. Those curious enough to leaf through the nine volumes of the Olympic Review during the years when it was a monthly publication, the official publication of the International Olympic Committee, would find warnings against athletics as a show, and the eventual consequences of that approach—articles written eighteen, twenty, and twenty-two years ago. At the time I said that once seats for forty thousand spectators are built, you have to fill them, and that means drawing a crowd. To draw that crowd, you will need a publicity campaign, and to justify the publicity campaign you will have to draw sensational numbers ... Yes, I said these things over and over, but no one listened to me. Almost all the stadiums built in recent years are the result of local and, too often, commercial interests, not Olympic interests at all.”