Construction On Beijing 2008 Olympic Venues Now Underway
It will take three years to complete, but construction of the National Stadium and the National Swimming Centre, two of the main venues of Beijing’s 2008 Games, began Wednesday.
The 80,000-seat National Stadium, located in the south of the Olympic Green and known as “bird’s nest” because of its giant Lattice-work structure of irregularly angled metal girders, will be the centrepiece of the 2008 Games at a cost of about $360 million (U.S.). It will host the opening and closing ceremonies and the track-and-field events.
The 17,000-seat National Swimming Centre will also be a key landmark. It’s located nearby in Olympic Green on the northern edge of the city and covers a floor space of 70,000 square metres.
Of the 17,000 seats 6,000 are permanent and 11,000 are temporary.
The swimming centre will host swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming events.
Included in the first group of venues to be built is the Beijing Shooting Range and the Laoshan Velodrome.
Bids for other Olympic projects, including the Olympic Park on the northern edge of the city, are also underway.
Beijing promised to finish construction of its sporting facilities at least a year ahead of the 2008 Games so test events could be held during 2007.
Meanwhile, starting January 1 China is eliminating motorcycle escorts who guide dignitaries through Beijing’s high traffic areas.
The step is aimed at cutting out unnecessary pomp and easing the impact of state functions on the public.
Beijing is expected to spend $7.3 billion (U.S.) a year to reduce traffic problems before it hosts the 2008 Games, reports local media. Write or read comments about this article
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