HC Deb 20 May 2002 vol 386 cc70-1W
Kate Hoey

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many seats will be available to the general public in the proposed new Wembley stadium; who made the decision to change the number of seats available to the public; what her policy is on a reduction in seats available to the general public; and what impact a reduction in seats has on the Lottery agreement. [53785]

Tessa Jowell

The current Lottery Funding Agreement requires Wembley National Stadium Ltd. (WNSL) to make available 75,000 seats to the general public. Any change to that agreement to reflect the current project is a matter for Sport England, the FA and WNSL.

I understand that following the publication of the English National Stadium Review's interim report on 19 December 2001 [HC 479], WNSL asked Sport England to consider the need to change the balance between general public and premium seats in order to support efforts to secure financing for the project. The request was supported by a revised business plan and by thorough market research carried out by WNSL. The Council of Sport England has considered the revised business plan presented by WNSL and following discussions with WNSL has agreed to reduce the number of general public seats which WNSL must make available to 71,200. This 71,200 figure compares with approximately 73,000 seats available to the general public at the current stadium.

The change to the number of general public seats will be incorporated as an amendment to the Lottery Funding Agreement.