Gelsenkirchen's scruffy World Cup legacy

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 26 October 2008

A lot has been made of how the 2012 London Olympics will leave a 'lasting legacy' for the capital in terms of infrastructure investment and regeneration.

One thing that is important for the bid team is to make sure that a couple of years after the Olympic circus has left town, people can actually see the effect.

VELTINS Arena

I thought about this whilst I was in Gelsenkirchen, a host city at the 2006 World Cup Finals. The VELTINS Arena was one of the lasting impacts of hosting the World Cup, but, as the speedway event I was going to was cancelled, I didn't get to see this legacy landmark.

2006 World Cup legacy in Gelsenkirchen

Instead, the only evidence I saw that the World Cup had ever been to Gelsenkirchen was some tatty looking signage in town - although I'm fairly certain they must have also improved the U-Bahn, main station, and other facilities around the city.

Gelsenkirchen 2006 World Cup signage

The organisers of the London Olympics will want to make sure they leave a 2012 branded mark on every bit of infrastructure work that gets carried out for the games.

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