Tour de France 2014 team presentation to be "real fans event", says Green

Martin Green was head of ceremonies for the London 2012 Games
Martin Green was head of ceremonies for the London 2012 Games

Event producer Martin Green has revealed the team presentation ceremony for the Yorkshire 2014 Grand Départ, marking the start of the Tour de France, will allow cycling fans to see the event up close.

In an exclusive interview, the head of ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games gave Event an insight into the ticketed event, which will take place at the Leeds First Direct Arena on 3 July.

Green said: "We are at the stage of finalising plans and budgets, tickets will go on sale later on in the year and we will be releasing more details about it soon. But we are right in the middle of the final stages of development. It will be a great way to see the Tour de France up close, it will be a real fans event."

Welcome to Yorkshire, the destination management organisation for the region, approached Green to work on the event, which will showcase each team to mark the official arrival of the Tour de France in Leeds.

He was involved in the London team presentation event in 2007 in Trafalgar Square, the last time the race visited Great Britain, when he worked as head of events for London at the Greater London Authority.

Green said the opportunity arose to work on the Leeds team presentation following a talk he delivered in Yorkshire on his involvement with the 2012 Games. "Welcome to Yorkshire came up to me after and said they had just won the bid to stage the Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire, and was I interested in working with them to figure out what they wanted to do. I joined as a consultant to look at the project as a whole with them.

"Welcome to Yorkshire was very ambitious about how they wanted to do the team presentation in the way they wanted to promote Yorkshire as a destination to visit, work and live in. I have helped them to evolve that and now we are just about to flip into production ahead of 3 July."

He added one of the reasons why he took the job was so that he could produce an event in the 13,000-capacity Leeds First Direct Arena. "I wanted to do a gig in that space. They call it a super theatre, so it's not like your usual arena with a basketball field in the middle. It's an amphitheatre and a stage area, and it's the only one of its type in this country.

"It's fantastic because it is so intimate and ideal for events like this. So I'm really looking forward to the opportunity of working in that venue."

Welcome to Yorkshire is working with a number of partners, including Yorkshire Water and Arts Council England, to host Yorkshire Festival 2014, the region’s first arts festival, from 27 March until 6 July. It will precede the Tour de France.

The 100-day long event will focus on music, dance, theatre, film and art as part of its content and will cover 6,000 square miles of Yorkshire.

Read more about Martin Green and his role on the Vodafone Firsts campaign in the April issue of Event, which you can subscribe to here.

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