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Tuesday, 30 May, 2000, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Should the Millennium Dome be sold now?

The fate of the Millennium Dome has turned into something of a national obsession in the UK.

Plagued by resignations, dwindling visitor figures and outrage over the millions of pounds being spent on it, everyone has got an opinion on the monument to the new century.

The new chairman insists that he will look to the future and "build on what has already been achieved".

But can the Dome still be a success, or do you think it's time to stop flogging a dead horse? Would selling it off now be the best solution? Tell us what you think.

Your reaction.

The Dome is nothing but a glorified theme park and certainly not a worthy monument to the new millennium which future generations can remember with pride. To pour more money into this project is but an obscene waste.
Wendy, England

The fiasco of the Dome simply serves to highlight exactly why the National Lottery was always such an appalling idea.
Jim, UK

Why not use it as a permanent London exhibition centre for charities and voluntary organisations to canvass for more donations and support?
Adrian Paul Miles, Birmingham, UK



The Dome should be sold without delay and the money distributed to the good causes it should have gone to in the first place rather than this ridiculous circus tent in the wilds of London

Catherine Arrow, UK
Surely, it would have been far better to build a Millennium park in the same area, with walkways along the river and a bridge across to the Greenwich Observatory. This is something that would have lasted years rather than months and could have been enjoyed by future generations.
James Pritchard, Scotland

The Dome should be sold without delay and the money returned to lottery coffers to be distributed to the good causes it should have gone to in the first place rather than this ridiculous circus tent in the wilds of London.
Catherine Arrow, UK

The Dome was an excellent, although costly, central focal attention for the UK's Millennium celebrations. However, I feel it would have been a more successful venture had they centralised its location in the Midlands, making it accessible to the majority of the nation who have all contributed to its cost.
Andy Elwin, UK

I live a stone's throw from the Dome. The concept is magnificent and a tribute to British design engineering. It has regenerated the area I live in and provided jobs directly and indirectly for many thousands of people. When it is sold, it will be a focal point for further urban redevelopment and attract hi-tech business to the area. The financial benefits of having built it will outweigh the original costs of construction and operation.
William Stevens, UK



The Government should have agreed to funding of the Dome, via lottery money, and left it to people who understand their business to develop the attraction

Roy Chapman, UK/ Germany
The Dome is not right yet, but it could be. I'm reminded of EuroDisney. A stinking white elephant, that localised, cut entry prices and started marketing itself. Suddenly it became popular and profitable even with the puritanical French. Let's show the world we are a nation of winners, not whiners.
Robin Nayak, Singapore

The Government should have agreed to funding of the Dome, via lottery money, and left it to people who understand their business to develop the attraction. Disney was created from the unhindered vision of a single man who knew it would work and proved it. With the Dome, never in the history of entertainment have so many politicians meddled so much and paid so much to create an attraction visited by so few.
Roy Chapman, UK/ Germany



The government wants me to go twice the distance, at three times the cost, on public transport to see something I am not even sure my kids will like?

Alan, UK
I live in the North West, and my idea of a day out is Alton Towers. It doesn't require endless hours of travelling, or an overnight stay; I know exactly what sort of entertainment to expect, and I know my kids will love it. The government wants me to go twice the distance, at three times the cost, on public transport to see something I am not even sure my kids will like? Sorry - the choice is clear to me.
Alan, UK

How much longer can the Millennium Commission be used as a shield for political incompetence? Both its Chairman and Board, which includes two Labour cabinet members, cannot be allowed to escape such fiasco. When will The National Audit Office give its opinion?
JN, UK

Well done to the last ruling Tory government. Let's not forget that it was they who started the Dome fiasco in the first place. Could it be they knew they were so unpopular that they had no chance of winning the upcoming election? Knowing this, they decided to leave a legacy for the incoming Labour government that would leave them publicly humiliated?
Gary Hart, UK



Shouldn't they at least wait until January 2001, when the new millennium will begin?

James Castro, USA
When will the politicians start listening to what people really want? I don't know one ordinary person who thought building the Dome was a good idea. What a WASTE of money and energy!
Harriet Roach, USA

How many people who criticise the Dome have actually been? My family visited in early March. There were seventeen of us, three generations and we had the best day. Yes, we live in the south of England and the travel was not difficult for us. We hope to return later in the year as we didn't get to see everything that we wanted. Stop complaining, and give it a try.
Jenny, UK

The Dome has given work to over 13,000 people. No one mentions the staff, the recycling programme or the marvellous art, let alone the Millennium Jewels. The Dome is a wonderful environment which brings happiness to millions at a really good value for money day out. After all it is our country's millennium celebration. I love our Dome. I have worked there since 5th November last year and probably have met a good portion of the 2 million visitors and they really do love it
Pat Anderson, England



If you guys don't want the Dome - can I have it?

Mark, New Zealand
You should be proud of the Dome. Most people in Italy would have loved a landmark building in Italy's capitol Rome. I went to the Dome with friends who all loved it. I note that the construction cost of 50 million for the Dome is 4 times cheaper than the Tate Modern. Why don't your press complain that the Tate's 200 million should go into charity?
Maria Garavaglia, Italy

Shouldn't they at least wait until January 2001, when the new millennium will begin?
James Castro, USA

If you guys don't want the Dome - can I have it?
Mark, New Zealand

The Dome is simply one more expression of the traditional and outmoded idea of London as the centre of the known universe. Large numbers of people in the UK neither wish to visit this glorified Disneyland, nor will likely ever have the opportunity to do so. The Dome is a white elephant because that's what it was always intended to be - so that private pockets could be filled at public expense. The money spent on this huge folly could have had a cultural impact the length and breadth of this country - a true millenium celebration.
John Luby, Scotland



I've no fondness for Bob Ayling, but he is clearly being scapegoated when the real criminals escape without having to take any responsibility

Richard Carter, UK
The reason the Dome has failed to attract visitors is really very simple. For everybody who lives outside of London, the day becomes increasingly expensive because of travel costs. The Dome has never been more than an attraction for the residents of London and the surrounding area.
Chris Newman, UK

The Dome is an appalling waste of resources and it makes me furious that this farce is receiving what seems to be endless amounts of public money when other, more deserving cases, specifically arts funding, is strictly limited. Also, the people who are really responsible for this outrage, the politicians, are keeping their jobs whilst Bob Ayling gets the sack. I've no fondness for Ayling, but he is clearly being scapegoated when the real criminals escape without having to take any responsibility.
Richard Carter, UK

I visited the Dome back in April, thoroughly enjoyed the day and have every intention of returning later in the year. However, I do not feel that nearly 500 million pounds of public money can be justified to give people an enjoyable day out. This is particularly the case, when those on low income or people living far away from London can ill afford to pay travel, accommodation and entrance costs.
Annabelle, UK



My big complaint is the lack of decent car parks. With all that derelict land, they could have done better

John, Swindon, UK
Millions of pounds were spent to usher in the new millennium by showcasing advancements in science and technology. In my opinion, these advancements could have been doubled had this money been given to cash starved researchers and scientists.
Hafeez Khan, Pakistan

My big complaint is the lack of decent car parks. With all that derelict land, they could have done better. The '"park and rides'" are too far away and for a family to travel by public transport from outside London is prohibitively expensive. I resent any politically correct attempt to dissuade me from using my car!
John, Swindon, UK



The Dome as an engineering and design structure is magnificent. Many congratulations to those that designed and built it

Adrian, UK
I believe that it is the never-ending negative press comment which has killed the Dome. I have visited it twice and on both occasions, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. The show is spectacular, and whilst one or two of the Zones are ill thought out, there is still a huge range of things to see and do during the day.
Richard Kiddle, UK

The Dome as an engineering and design structure is magnificent. Many congratulations to those that designed and built it.
Adrian, UK

The Dome should be preserved forever as a monument to British mediocrity.
John, UK

The Dome was funded by lottery money, that is the proceeds of gambling. Lottery money was never intended to fund areas like health and education. People who complain that the money would be better spent on cancer research etc should consider the implications of what they are saying. Do they really want important matters like health and education to be funded out of the entirely voluntary and variable purchases of lottery tickets? Do they not believe it is better to fund these areas out of taxation, as has been the way until now?
John Frankin, England

With London's current problems with the homeless and asylum seekers, surely we could convert this monstrosity into an immense hostel for these unfortunate people? Surely this would salve the social conscience of Londoners and finally provide a commendable purpose for this building.
Dave Jones, UK



I find this so funny. To think that anyone actually thought this venture would be a success! It was doomed before the ground was even broken

Keith Hudson, Canada
Keep the Dome but do something beneficial with it. It would make a fantastic concert venue, an indoor athletics arena or a replacement for Wembley football stadium. Tearing the Dome down would be madness because it was built to last over 50 years.
Gavin Pearson, USA

Consider all of Britain's real entertainment and cultural attractions such as ballet companies, small city orchestras, and preserved railway lines that could have benefited from all that money. These are the things that represent the real Britain, its true heritage and creative genius, not the contrived symbol of "Cool Britannia".
Peter C. Kohler, USA

I find this so funny. To think that anyone actually thought this venture would be a success! It was doomed before the ground was even broken.
Keith Hudson, Canada

One use for the Dome could be to turn it into a prison.
Mark, Netherlands

The Millennium Dome is a great example of how out of touch the champagne socialists of the modern left are. Imagine wasting all that money on pleasing your privileged arty mates, when so many of your Sun-reading voters are completely indifferent, if not hostile, to the idea of a building which is famous for nothing but its unremarkable shape!
M. Conomos, Australia



Don't sell the Dome as I haven't visited it yet!

Rachael, Switzerland
The original idea was probably good, but the Dome was built in the wrong place, no-one had a clue what to put in it, and the attendance targets were wildly optimistic. The main problem is that people aren't so easily impressed nowadays. Times were very different when the Festival of Britain, the last comparable event, was held in the 50s.
Dave, UK

The Millennium Dome was conceived and implemented start to finish by the consensus of a committee to please all of the people all of the time. It was therefore, doomed from the start.
Darren Lewis, Southampton, England

Personally, I blame Peter Mandelson. He's the one principally responsible for this fiasco. Mind you, when he was setting up this disaster he was trying to sort out his mortgage at the same time.
Paul Jemetta, UK

The Dome has suffered from the start due largely to a negative and cynical media. Despite this, the visitor numbers already achieved make it the biggest paid visitor attraction in the UK. With any new start-up, it is difficult to predict visitor numbers with any degree of certainty. The cost will eventually be seen as small when compared with the re-generation of Greenwich and its surrounding areas including the jobs that will be created.
John, London



The cost will eventually be seen as small when compared with the re-generation of Greenwich and its surrounding areas including the jobs that will be created

John, London
Don't sell the Dome as I haven't visited it yet!
Rachael, Switzerland

I think the Dome was a great idea in principle. However, the zones were devised by people ill-equipped to do so. They should have more rides, more interesting things, and the kind of amusements people pay good money to go to Disney World to see. Things like faith zones just don't attract the masses.
Steve Fricker, England

The dome should be turned upside down, lined with silver foil and used as a huge satellite dish to look for intelligent life out in space. There's obviously none down here!
Tom Brook, UK

Why choose a dome?
Because it's pointless.
David Ricketts, United Kingdom



Why not use the Dome as a multi-use 'Millennium Sports Stadium' for the people?

Phil W, UK
As a piece of civil engineering, the Dome never ceases to amaze me; it looks really good - especially when illuminated.
However, as so much of our tax payers money has gone into supporting it, the government should remove all entry charges. Make it free; this would allow more people across the nation, more chance to financially afford to see what all the fuss is about inside the Dome.
Also, since there is so much fuss being made about the cost of replacement for Wembley, and a National Sports stadium, and, as the Dome is apparently bigger than so many soccer pitches, why not use the Dome as a multi-use 'Millennium Sports Stadium' for the people?
Phil W, UK

My family are visiting the Dome this Friday (for my husband and daughter's birthday treat) and although we really want to see it before the year is up we still feel the price is too high. The entrance price should be halved and then see how many people go through the door.
Carol Bright, England

There is a great deal being made of the fact that the dome is still the biggest attraction in the UK. It probably is at the moment due to the time of year, but will it say the same when places like Alton Towers and Blackpool and even other attractions in London hit their peak seasons? I doubt it. What will their excuses be then?
Close the damn thing. Sell it whatever and just stop wasting valuable resources on it that could go to much more deserving causes.
Andi Dawson, UK



If I hear one more person tell me how many hospitals or schools could have been built with the money I shall scream

Tristan O'Dwyer, UK
If I hear one more person tell me how many hospitals or schools could have been built with the money I shall scream. I accept that the Dome perhaps has not been run as well as it could have been, but I don't think that is what people are complaining about. People are complaining because essentially this country is full of boring people to whom everything has to have a "use" (as if enjoyment isn't useful!!!).
I have no doubt that no matter what was to be proposed (whether it be the Dome or something else), if it didn't have a "use" then it would be attacked. All I want to say to those who attack the Dome is that any society that concentrates all its efforts on what is seen as sensible and useful will become stale. No I don't think it should be closed early... especially since I haven't been. YET!!!
Tristan O'Dwyer, UK



People would flock in if they thought that it was closing imminently

Diana Paterson, England
I cannot believe that the Government are allowing another 29 million to be wasted on this dreadful dome. When so much money is needed in other areas, especially in cancer resources, it is quite appalling to throw more good money after bad.
It should be closed in a few weeks. People would flock in if they thought that it was closing imminently, and they could recoup some money that way and not waste money keeping it going for another 7 months and losing millions more.
Diana Paterson, England

The Dome has failed in my mind because I have never understood what it was I was meant to be going to see. If I had wanted education I would have gone to the museums of South Kensington. For entertainment to any amusement complex. There is no 'purpose' to the dome. This is why Tate Modern scores over the dome. It has one specific purpose. The money would have been better spent on local community projects, such as the 'Jubilee Halls' of years past; that way the whole country could have benefited in stead of just the south east.
Chris Starr, UK



If somebody living within a mile of the dome can't get in, what hope do they have of meeting their targets??

James Singleton, UK
I only live two stops away from the Dome and have tried on several occasions to visit it. On one occasion I learnt the hard way that you cannot buy tickets on the door. On another occasion I tried WH Smiths at the Dome for tickets. They turned out to be just about the only branch to not have a National Lottery terminal.
On my last attempt I tried my local newsagent. They told me that tickets were not sold out for that day, but only a limited amount of tickets are allocated to each outlet.
If somebody living within a mile of the dome can't get in, what hope do they have of meeting their targets??
James Singleton, UK

I think the numerous Dome officials should all be sacked and their jobs offered to the team behind the London Eye - given that they've already proved they can build and run a comparably cheap, almost universally acclaimed and phenomenally successful tourist site without too much difficulty. Other cities worldwide are thinking of building their own "Eyes", but I don't see any other country being daft enough to look to build it's own dome...
Gaz Haman, UK



When the Eiffel Tower was built a lot of people said it was an eyesore

David, UK
When the Eiffel Tower was built a lot of people said it was an eyesore. Although the Dome is losing money at the moment, I expect it to be very successful when sold.
David, UK

The Dome was not wanted by a vast majority of people in Britain, a small minority have visited it and an even smaller minority have any praises to sing. What principle of democracy are we upholding by sinking more funds into a sunken ship. Other than trying to spare Labour's blushes.
Gordon Jamieson, Great Britain



I am still unsure what I will see when I eventually go. Body Zone (!) what's that?

Phlip, England
Until I saw the news last night I had no idea how optimistically the attendance figures for the Dome had been set. They hoped for 12m when the highest attendance for paying attractions is Madam Tussards and Alton Towers with 2.4m.
No wonder attendance has not reached expectations. These two are well established and heavily promoted. You know exactly what to expect when you go to them. After 6 months of following the Dome and it's progress I am still unsure what I will see when I eventually go. Body Zone (!) what's that?
Phlip, England

The Dome is an embarrassing example of the over-excitement the whole 'millennium' fiasco inspired.
Life is just the same now as it was last year, London is just as congested and dirty, and people have no more money than they did to waste on ill-conceived projects such as this. Sell it off, and get at least some of our money back - only this time please spend it something that we actually want!
Martin Dart, UK

With London's current problems with the homeless and asylum seekers, surely we could convert this monstrosity into an immense hostel for these unfortunate people? Surely this would salve the social conscience of Londoners and finally provide a commendable purpose for this building.
Dave Jones, UK

The dome stands as proof that no matter how many "focus groups" or "concept seminars" you have, if the people in the meetings are out of touch with the British public, spending half a billion pounds isn't going to change that. The dome is a national embarrassment. The tragedy is that they didn't have to look very far to see what the public really likes - Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Alton Towers etc. - the crime is that they chose not to look.
Charlie, UK



It should have been build in the Midlands, next to the NEC where there is easy access to motorways, rail and even air travel and plenty of parking

John, UK
I don't think there is anything wrong in aiming high, but the Millennium dome was doomed mainly because of two reasons. Firstly its contents: my 9-year-old son went with his school and his verdict was "Not Bad". This didn't enthuse the rest of the family to visit. Secondly its location: it should have been build in the Midlands, next to the NEC where there is easy access to motorways, rail and even air travel and plenty of parking.
John, UK

The half a billion odd quid would have been far better spent on community projects throughout the UK, not on a tent-full of tat for Londoners. It should be sold this Autumn, and the money should be distributed to various UK charities.
Janet, UK



It's still a good day out if not the "amazing" day advertised

Mike, UK
As usual a lot a negative comments mainly from people who haven't been. Even if the latest projections of visitor numbers are correct (6-7million) in one year, this will have been the most popular paid for attraction in the UK by a large margin.
I have visited the dome and enjoyed my time there. So have all my friends who have visited (about 15) Sure, improvements could be made and many mistakes were made during its conception but it's still a good day out if not the "amazing" day advertised. Why do the British people like to denigrate their own achievements so much?
Mike, UK



The Dome is an absurdity placed on a site that is incongruous and is certainly the ugliest building ever conceived

K F Davis, USA
We are travelling with two young kids to London to see the Dome. Perhaps people should make more of an effort to visit the Dome, then they can comment.
Jane, Yorkshire

I took my wife and three children to the Dome. We spent 60 to get in and 10 on soup and rolls. The most enjoyable part of it all was the kids' climbing frame located close to one of the exits. The rest of the day was spent queuing. Make it interesting, make it affordable, cut down the queues and the Dome could well be in profit in time for New Year's Eve 2999.
Chris Grimshaw, UK

It should have been there to celebrate our achievements and progress over the last 1,000 years and a projection of our future for the next 1,000 years. It should have contained exhibits to inspire all and especially our children. Instead we got a wishy-washy, politically correct set of "zones" that no-one wants to see.
Mike Thomas, UK

When you consider the cost of constructing the Dome together with the public subsidy it has received just to keep it open, then one wonders what would have happened if the Dome had been a hospital or a public transport system. Would the Government have been keen to keep on funding it?
Steve Millington, UK

The Dome has swallowed nearly three-quarters of a billion pounds and all we have to show for it is a muddle of second rate attractions borne from focus group meetings. Compared to the Tate Modern, which had a leader in Nicholas Serota who knew what he wanted to achieve and made sure it was delivered, the Dome is an expensive and transient waste of money.
Peter, Scotland

The Dome is an absurdity placed on a site that is incongruous and is certainly the ugliest building ever conceived It should be pulled down and the area converted to be a green belt park in keeping with its Greenwich neighbour.
K F Davis, USA



The dome was an ill-conceived idea from the outset. It was managed by incompetent people and has resulted in the utter and total waste of 800 million pounds

Sprevis, UK
The Dome was an ill-conceived idea from the outset. It was managed by incompetent people and has resulted in the utter and total waste of 800 million pounds. This is a shameful, but not surprising, example of the contempt the politicians hold for the public.
Sprevis, UK

The Dome should not be sold nor should it remain open a moment longer. It's an embarrassment to the British and should be demolished forthwith. In its place there should be a broad green space with a simple obelisk at its centre recording the fact that on this site stood a monument to the vanity of politicians which cost more than 500,000,000 and served no purpose whatever.
John Brownlee, England

How can that much money can be spent on a white elephant like the Dome when hospitals and schools are so underfunded? What real use does the Dome have?
Gareth Talbot, UK

Having visited the Dome on the 3rd January, I was amazed to see so many exhibits broken or dirty. I was totally underwhelmed by what was meant to be THE UK showcase venue. It was complete rubbish and I am not surprised at its failiure.
Freddie, UK



You cannot expect something like that to turn a profit within 12 months - it's completely unreasonable. It needs more time which it doesn't have

Alex Banks, Wales
You cannot expect something like that to turn a profit within 12 months - it's completely unreasonable. It needs more time which it doesn't have. When it gets sold off, some lucky company will snap it up for a fraction of its construction cost. Why else would Sky and Disney be rumoured to be interested?
Alex Banks, Wales

Living in Scotland, the Dome would always be difficult for me to get to. Unless I was going to London anyway, the cost alone would be astronomical for my family to attend. This, together with the extremely negative impression given by the press and apparent inability of top level management to perform, makes me not particularly to want to go. The bosses now want more millions of lottery money meant for good causes. I see many good causes which are turned down for funding for the tiniest fraction of what the Dome will be awarded.
Richard Coleman, UK

I think that the Dome should be sold to the English Cricket Board and made into an indoor cricket ground so that the test will no longer be forced off due to bad weather.
Mark Slade, England

The Millennium Dome was a complete waste of time and money, hence the trouble it is in now. Sell it and make good use of the ground.
Jason, UK

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23 May 00 | UK
Dome chief resigns
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