Economy Won't Hamper Madrid 2020 Bid
Officials behind Madrid's bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games say the city will be capable of staging a successful 2020 Olympics despite the state of Spain's finances, reports Reuters.
Spanish Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco told a news conference Tuesday, a day after Madrid handed its 2020 bid dossier to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, "today the biggest weakness we have is the economy, but we can overcome it".
Officials reportedly said hosting the Games would help to boost the economy, burnish Spain's image and unite citizens during tough times.
Madrid says its bid for the 2020 Olympics is strengthened by Spain's sporting excellence, the capital's qualities as a modern city and many existing facilities.
The dossier states that the Games will be staged at two main sites - the Campo de las Naciones, where the Olympic and Paralympic Village will be situated in the Olympic Park, and Manzanares, located less than 15 minutes away and home to nine of the venues.
According to the bid dossier, 28 of the 35 planned venues are already built, while about 40 per cent of tickets will cost less than 40 Euros.
The Olympic Village is ten kilometres from the airport, ten minutes from the city centre, and a three-minute walk from the Olympic Stadium, while ninety per cent of the athletes will stay in accommodation situated less than 15 minutes from venues where they will compete.
Jose Ignacio Wert, Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, told reporters, "like London, Madrid already has from the beginning huge strengths that will stage an Olympics".
Wert cited a recent poll that he said showed 80 per cent of Spaniards supported the bid and he called the Games an "important national project" all citizens needed to be a part of.
He said the government was drafting new anti-doping legislation to protect sporting achievement.
Spanish Olympic Committee chief Alejandro Blanco says hosting the Games would demonstrate "the importance sport has in this country".
Madrid Mayor Ana Botella says the bid features a frugal and realistic $1.9 billion budget made possible by use of many existing facilities, with only four permanent venues and three temporary ones still to be built.Write or read comments about this article
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