Hambantota 2018: the most compact design concept the games have ever seen
ALAN LAFLEUR / Sports Features Communications
TAMPA/HAMBANTOTA, Jun 28: Today the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission is visiting the second of two 2018 candidate cities, Hambantota, Sri Lanka. The commission spent four days at the competitor, the Gold Coast, last week.
The commission was treated with a tour of what is considered to be the most compact design concepts that have ever been developed for the Commonwealth Games.
The Sri Lanka Sports Minister and Co-Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Hon. Mahindananda Aluthgamage, had this to say about the design process for these compact games: “We’ve listened to athletes and put functionality and convenience at the forefront of the planning and design process.”
That design process has led to all but three competition venues in a single cluster. The cluster will also house the Games Village and most of the training facilities. Most athletes will not have to travel more than 1km to their respective competition or training venues.
The plan sounds great for the athletes but what about the spectators of the event? How will Hambantota keep it from becoming one big traffic jam getting from event to event? The plan is to have two main boulevards, with entertainment all around, that will provide pedestrian-only access to the venues. The plan looks detailed enough that spectator traffic should be accounted for.
Another great thing about the design of the Hambantota 2018’s bid is the access to the international airport. The main cluster is only 13km from the airport and will be accessible by new road and rail.
The Hambantota 2018 plan is part of a bigger national journey called, ‘Taking Sri Lanka to 2020.’ Each venue will be financed and owned by the government and each come with defined legacy goals. One goal is that the Multi-Sport Complex will house a National Sports Museum. However, the goals do not just include sport. The Exhibition Centre will be used for Bollywood productions. The goal will be to have Hambantota one of the five future ‘metro cities’ for Sri Lanka and to have a mixed-zone ‘live, work, and play’ environment.
Hambantota, Sri Lanka is up against the Gold Coast, Australia to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The CGF is due to choose the host city at its meeting in St Kitts and Nevis on 11 November 2011.