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Temporary VS. Permanent (Olympic Venues)


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The IOC is clearly enthralled with new shiny venues that won't be dismantled after the Games, but after two SOG's with clear venue legacy issues, I think the IOC should be looking for something different. I fear that if these practices continue we could end up in a modern 1976 scenario again. Surely, there are differences, but the lack of 2018 bidders should be a warning sign to the IOC (with or without an improving global economy).

I think Chicago did rely heavily on temp venues, and hopefully future U.S. bidders balance out temporary venues or partially temporary venues with a focused legacy concept in mind. At least World Sport Chicago was born out of Chicago's 2016 bid, and about 15% of the funds raised for the bid went to that program.

To me, legacy should be less about bricks and mortar, and more about tangible benefits to a city's sporting/youth/educational community. Infrastructure projects should also be at the forefront of any plans. We shall see how London and Rio handle this responsibility.

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I think both London and Rio will handle the responsibility just fine. Rio may be a little rough around the edges, but the IOC will hail it as a great success anyway. I just think it sets a really poor, fiscally irresponsible precedent.

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I have no question that both cities will deliver the venues on time, and in good quality. But all cities, including modern successes like Barcelona & Sydney have had to deal with legacy issues in some of their permanent venues. London, Sochi and Rio will have to answer as well.

I remember a couple of forumers from Brazil were bringing up valid points about some of Rio's Pan Am venues not being utilized after the Games, so it will be interesting to see how Rio will use even more new/updated venues.

Athensfan, Please further elaborate on the fiscally irresponsible precedent set in recent years.

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Don't blame the IOC for your own white elephants.

They choose the host city, that's all. Whether you decide to build a white elephant is up to you. They can't dictate the legacy of the venue for your city.

105 members go into a room, and after lots of presentations with fancy videos, they choose the best, perhaps for some of them, the best at that moment.

If you want to win, in this race , find the common elements of London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Munich 2018 is already showing some of these winning factors. A clear concept, spectacular venues, which will most likely be followed by a super venue fly-over video that actually gets one excited e.g. Sue Barker for London and the Rio Olympic Masterplan video for Rio.

Alternatively, just hire Mike Lee already!

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Don't blame the IOC for your own white elephants.

They choose the host city, that's all. Whether you decide to build a white elephant is up to you. They can't dictate the legacy of the venue for your city.

105 members go into a room, and after lots of presentations with fancy videos, they choose the best, perhaps for some of them, the best at that moment.

If you want to win, in this race , find the common elements of London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Munich 2018 is already showing some of these winning factors. A clear concept, spectacular venues, which will most likely be followed by a super venue fly-over video that actually gets one excited e.g. Sue Barker for London and the Rio Olympic Masterplan video for Rio.

Alternatively, just hire Mike Lee already!

Completely missing the fact that both London and Rio inspired the IOC by promising a unique legacy / impact for the 2012 and 2016 Games, that both of them had a very charismatic leaders well connected with the IOC members. Those are the common factors.

Yeah, nice renderings are nice but that's it: very few people outside of the world of sports venue architects and designers would have an erection over venues rendering...

As for Mike Lee (who was on Salzburg 2014 team BTW but he doesn't brag about it), he has already been hired by PC (while Tibbs is working for Munich).

And yeah, Munich is showing all the winning factors at the moment, especially after Vancouver.

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Don't blame the IOC for your own white elephants.

They choose the host city, that's all. Whether you decide to build a white elephant is up to you. They can't dictate the legacy of the venue for your city.

105 members go into a room, and after lots of presentations with fancy videos, they choose the best, perhaps for some of them, the best at that moment.

I do hold the IOC somewhat responsible for white elephant hosts (although cities ultimately hold the largest responsibility). Why else have an evaluation commission? Sure, EC's do feasibilty analysis, but legacy is included.

If the IOC isn't concerned about white elephants, they should be. The after effects burden budgets, and make it more difficult for other cities to sell the idea of bidding on an Olympic Games to their residents. How else should they justify environmental and fiscal concerns?

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I was not pointing to venue rendering. Its part of my stance I've always had, if you can't get your vision of the games across to the IOC and get them as excited as you are about the Games in your city, then you will likely fail. Its a package of presentations, connections , lobbying, etc.

Boring bids are just unlikely to win given the high profile of these races. Its makes the difference, it cost Paris the Games.

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Ultimately, I agree that the host is responsible for the white elephants. They're the ones who promised them and chose built them. But the IOC should not get off scot free. I think the IOC is absolutely excited by glamorous renderings. They want the biggest, most spectacular show they can get and part of that is fancy new venues, rail lines, parks, etc.. If you want to win, you have to cater to the IOC's taste. The IOC can't force anyone to spend more money than they should, but they certainly provide compelling temptation.

As for fiscal irresponsibility, 2 weeks of international sports should not cost so many billions of dollars. When looking at the number of significant human tragedies taking place around the world, I think it's very tough to justify the pricetag. I still think that the enormous amount of capital Brazil will spend on Rio is a very questionable choice considering that country's significant challenges. The same could be said of China. China played right into the IOC's hands by prizing spectacle above all else -- including the lives and health of construction workers, ceremonies participants, etc. China fed the idea that the Olympic Games are to be a real life fairy tale that lasts for two weeks. The literally brushed aside the inconvenient human beings who were in the way. Ultimately, I think that mindset is extremely destructive and betrays wildly disordered priorities.

There's a way to do a low cost Olympics using almost exclusively existing and temporary venues in well-established cities with sufficient infrastructure and the IOC clearly doesn't think it's sexy enough. That's what I find irresponsible.

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Apart from recent Olympic hosts though, are there many cities in the world who could put on a games with virtually no new stadia built?

It would be spread out, but LA could do it.

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I think things are slightly more complicated than "the IOC likes shiny venues" I am afraid...

Just a quick word about 2016 to start: although Rio had the most expensive project, the shiny wow new venues were certainly not in Rio's bid but rather Tokyo's! Rio is making use of a lot of existing or planned venues and Games-purpose built venues are actually few. The high cost of Rio's project is linked to investment in the general infrastructure (transport infrastructure development, port redevelopment) that, if conducted properly, should benefit Rio and the Cariocas for decades to come.

The IOC responsibility is three-fold:

- first, the IOC should make sure that the project selected is in line with the city's long term development need; therefore the debate should not be on temporary Vs permanent. Every city will have its specific needs and some cities might make use of a (partly)permanent stadium while others won't. The debate should be: is the plan presented by city X the one that makes the most sense based on its existing venues, its development plans?

- second, the IOC should be much more directive with respect to an OCOG / a host city when it comes to designing a venue: the IOC should be more vocal about what is the really needed for the Games and what is a nice to have (a stadium / an arena needs to be functional and designed with post-Games mode target from start, it doesn't have to set a new architectural standard);

- third, the IOC should convince the various stakeholders, and it particular the IFs, to be more pragmatic and flexible: not every sport can be staged right in the Olympic Park at any cost...

Then, I think it is not up to the IOC to decide whether such or such country should give priority to hosting a Games or to pursuing other developmental goal: why would the IOC be more legitimate than a country own authorities / citizens to decide what is needed or not?

This being said, I think it would be wise for the IOC to try to reach a balance between "expensive, city-shaping Games" (à la Barcelona, Beijing, Rio) and more reasonable Games (à la Vancouver) which will last a maybe less tangible but as valuable legacy (legacy is not limited to new venues, new infrastructure, it can be sports development, social and skills development!).

Just a quick final note about Beijing's legacy. Sure, there has been some mistakes (the Bird Nest and to a lesser extent the Watercube) and the Beijing Olympic Games have not suddenly brought democracy to China, but the legacy of the Beijing Games is not null and should be assessed in the years to come. At the moment several things come in mind:

- the sports venues built in the Universities campuses are all used and the Beijing Municipality has built a lot of street sports facilities (e.g. street basketball courts) that are also well used

- the environmental awareness of the Chinese people has been raised and the environmental conditions in Beijing, although still quite bad, have greatly improved thanks to the Games; behaviours have changed (processing of garbage, greater use of the public transport...), that would have probably changed anyway but the Games had a catalyst effect

- the true effect of China hosting the world will only be assessed in the years to come but the fact remains that because of the Games, many foreign visitors came to China and met and exchanged with many Chinese people, that the Chinese Government may have tried as hard as they could but they were not able to control everything that was said, written, broadcasted and that, indeed, China opened itself (even a little) to the world. A 1.5 billion society isn't changed in a day, a month or even a year but we shall see where the Chinese society will be ten years from now and then truly assess the effect (if any) the Games had.

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It would be spread out, but LA could do it.

That's why LA will have a hard time getting it for the 3rd time. No exciting new venues.

The best that LA can hope for in the future is if there is an actual default like what almost befell Athens. That's LA's best bet.

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That's why LA will have a hard time getting it for the 3rd time. No exciting new venues.

The best that LA can hope for in the future is if there is an actual default like what almost befell Athens. That's LA's best bet.

Well, there's Home Depot Center in Carson ;)

Anyway as I know for a eventual Olympic bid for LA they'd build a roof for LA Colloseum as they planned to do for 2016 (which Chicago ended bidding for USA as we all know)

coliseumrendering2.jpg

the problem is that I personally don't know if there would fit an athletics track anymore :blink: so eventually a new Olympic Stadium would be built.

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Perhaps its also about what exactly you focus on in your bid

Instead of focusing on the fact that your main athletics stadium only seats 60,000, focus on wonderful ceremonies at the memorable and 90,000 seat Maracana..the beaches.."X-park"

Chicago's main stadium was still very fuzzy to me even after the candidature file was released. I never got the sense that they really wanted it to be the focal point of the bid, and was certainly not presented as an iconic venue...at least not in the way London 2012 presented the concept.

I also prefer if bids present venues within parks as a whole, NOT venues within parks, but venues and parks as a venue concept.

To make it clearer, not a stadium plonked in the side of the park with some paving around it, but an entire theme or concept for the whole park, with the venue integrated into that site, even if its only temporary.

With Chicago's bid the venues, even temporary never seemed part of the site, rather just on the site.

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I also prefer if bids present venues within parks as a whole, NOT venues within parks, but venues and parks as a venue concept.

To make it clearer, not a stadium plonked in the side of the park with some paving around it, but an entire theme or concept for the whole park, with the venue integrated into that site, even if its only temporary.

If wishes were horses....

That sounds great, but so much land has already been developed that the kind of integrated conceptualization that you desire is all but impossible for most major cities. As for something "temporary" -- how do you have a temporary park? How do the trees have time to grow? Where do you find the land anyway? Mo, I totally agree that what you describe is an ideal scenario, but I think it's also a little unrealistic.

Addressing some other posters thoughts ...

Beijing was a mixed bag. There were good points and weak points. The general scale of the Games and the razor sharp focus on "being impressive" seemed to me like they hurt the future of the Olympics more than they helped.

As for Rio -- yes, they're using a lot of existing venues, but they're also building a heck of a lot. I agree that the biggest expenditures come with the expansion and improvement of infrastructure, but the pricetag is astronomical. One has to ask whether decisions will be made with the Cariocas best interests at heart. Or will choices be based on what will cause Brazil to shine most brightly for an international audience during a two-week spectacle? Is Rio 2016 going to do anything to help the huge percentage of the population living below the poverty line? It might do a little, but I suspect that most of the money will go for glamour. To me, that is very saddening.

Regarding Tokyo -- yeah, the bid required a lot of impressive new construction, but the bid had no sex appeal whatsoever. Money yes, glamour no. The IOC seems to gravitate towards a pairing of the two.

I really liked Brekkie Boy's question: apart from recent hosts, who's capable of staging the Games? The mere existence and validity of that question is evidence that the Games have gotten too big and too expensive. What is so bad about having venues spaced out a little more? What's so terrible about existing or temporary venues?

I would like to see the IOC make one of two decisions (I know they will not make either one, but here it goes anyway):

A.) Rotate the Games between a handful of cities that already have the necessary facilities. Allow countries like Greece to get a little more bang for their buck. If China has already gone to all this trouble for 2008, why should there be an endless parade of successors who basically try to duplicate the same thing in cities all over the world at enormous expense and for debatable benefit?

B.) Relax the requirements. Allow more distance between venues. Don't demand so many "glamour structures." Allow more existing and temporary venues. Make the Games of a scale that allows more cities to host without forcing them to break the bank in the process. The Olympics survived for DECADES -- they not only survived -- they thrived -- WITHOUT Olympic parks, WITHOUT state-of-the-art, purpose built villages. It would not be impossible to return to that model. The IOC just doesn't want to do it.

Among other things, downsizing and reducing the "glamour quotient" would force the IOC to find new criteria for selecting a host city. Suddenly, "good enough" really would be good enough and the host of the Games could be decided more on the basis of the character of the host, the heart of the bid. Of course, they all say it's about that now -- and I'll admit it plays a role, but I fear the appetite for spectacle eclipses everything else.

The truth is that as long as there are bid cities willing to cater to the IOC's penchant for grandiosity, we will continue to have grandiose Games. I guess it's too idealistic of me to expect the IOC to revise there expectations in order to save from of these cities from themselves. The IOC is a great temptress and most of the world is too weak-willed to resist.

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Both A and B would make the games A.) Boring and B.) feel diluted and also very inconvenient to boot.

No and no.

That's a vote for grandiosity at any expense.

I'm sorry, but the world (the U.S. especially) has gotten too demanding, too jaded, too self-centered.

People LOVED the Squaw Valley Games and they had to stay all over kingdom come, but they didn't care because they loved the event. People loved LA '84. Those Games were a huge success. The only reason that they "wouldn't work now" is that the world has gotten GREEDIER.

I'm sick of feeding the greedy monster, but obviously there are plenty of people who aren't so the Games will get more and more bloated until the IOC and the bid cities finally wake up.

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I think things are slightly more complicated than "the IOC likes shiny venues" I am afraid...

Just a quick word about 2016 to start: although Rio had the most expensive project, the shiny wow new venues were certainly not in Rio's bid but rather Tokyo's! Rio is making use of a lot of existing or planned venues and Games-purpose built venues are actually few. The high cost of Rio's project is linked to investment in the general infrastructure (transport infrastructure development, port redevelopment) that, if conducted properly, should benefit Rio and the Cariocas for decades to come.

Pretty much how I summed it up in my posts 20 & 22 of this thread.

Tokyo obviously had the most grandiose venues, & if the IOC wanted that, then the Japanese would've won, but Rio offered the best total legacy in this last bid race.

I agree that it's not totally a fair assessment of Rio's huge expense, like some others are stating, when a lot of the spending is going to be for infrastructure that's going to benefit the citizens no matter where on the "poverty line" one is at. Cuz last time I checked, one doesn't have to be "rich" to use the tremendous infrastructure improvements that are going to happen in Rio because of the Olympics.

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That's a vote for grandiosity at any expense.

I'm sorry, but the world (the U.S. especially) has gotten too demanding, too jaded, too self-centered.

People LOVED the Squaw Valley Games and they had to stay all over kingdom come, but they didn't care because they loved the event. People loved LA '84. Those Games were a huge success. The only reason that they "wouldn't work now" is that the world has gotten GREEDIER.

I'm sick of feeding the greedy monster, but obviously there are plenty of people who aren't so the Games will get more and more bloated until the IOC and the bid cities finally wake up.

No it's not, I liked Chicago's bid, and it was almost all existing or temporary. And totally spread out is really not good for an Olympic games. It loses it's cohesiveness.

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Chicago's main stadium was still very fuzzy to me even after the candidature file was released. I never got the sense that they really wanted it to be the focal point of the bid, and was certainly not presented as an iconic venue...at least not in the way London 2012 presented the concept.

I also prefer if bids present venues within parks as a whole, NOT venues within parks, but venues and parks as a venue concept.

To make it clearer, not a stadium plonked in the side of the park with some paving around it, but an entire theme or concept for the whole park, with the venue integrated into that site, even if its only temporary.

With Chicago's bid the venues, even temporary never seemed part of the site, rather just on the site.

I admit that Chicago did not do a good job communicating about their venues (especially regarding legacy). The stadium in the Washington Park received some local opposition to having it in the park, because Washington Park is one of Chicago's most historic parks, and it was designed by Frederick Olmsted (designer of New York's Central Park). The park was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, so there were limitations on what could be changed in the park.

The benefit of having the stadium in this park, was that the city already owned the land, the park was large enough to accommodate such venues, and there would be minimal environmental clean up costs (unlike the proposed OV). It also had to existing train lines in place to the east and west.

I agree that it's not totally a fair assessment of Rio's huge expense, like some others are stating, when a lot of the spending is going to be for infrastructure that's going to benefit the citizens no matter where on the "poverty line" one is at. Cuz last time I checked, one doesn't have to be "rich" to use the tremendous infrastructure improvements that are going to happen in Rio because of the Olympics.

Depends on what areas in the city will see development, and where the poor reside. If most of the venues are going to be far away from the slums (as many have indicated due to safety concerns), then the poor will not benefit so much. I have read articles about one of the biggest issues with Rio's poor, is the inaccessibility to more opportunities in the city. I am not saying that Rio's poor won't see some benefits, but I think the benefits will be minimal in the sense that most of the development won't be in the poorer/poorest sections of the city. Even if they did develop some of the poorer sections, it would be likely that some, if not many would be displaced (creating issues as well).

I also have an inkling that the city of Rio will try to cover up some of their problems rather than finding real solutions to them. I don't think it will be as obvious as Beijing building pointless walls around the poor (essentially cutting them off from parts of the city), but it is only natural for governments to want to exercise some control over what is seen on "their show".

I agree, that Beijing kind of hurt the Olympic movement. I don't think Rio will hurt the movement, but it is my sincere hope that the organizers "share the wealth" with those most in need.

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I really liked Brekkie Boy's question: apart from recent hosts, who's capable of staging the Games? The mere existence and validity of that question is evidence that the Games have gotten too big and too expensive. What is so bad about having venues spaced out a little more? What's so terrible about existing or temporary venues?

I would like to see the IOC make one of two decisions (I know they will not make either one, but here it goes anyway):

A.) Rotate the Games between a handful of cities that already have the necessary facilities. Allow countries like Greece to get a little more bang for their buck. If China has already gone to all this trouble for 2008, why should there be an endless parade of successors who basically try to duplicate the same thing in cities all over the world at enormous expense and for debatable benefit?

B.) Relax the requirements. Allow more distance between venues. Don't demand so many "glamour structures." Allow more existing and temporary venues. Make the Games of a scale that allows more cities to host without forcing them to break the bank in the process. The Olympics survived for DECADES -- they not only survived -- they thrived -- WITHOUT Olympic parks, WITHOUT state-of-the-art, purpose built villages. It would not be impossible to return to that model. The IOC just doesn't want to do it.

A would be a non-starter as I think it makes the games too exclusive - and actually the cost of staging the games regularly might not be as economical as you'd first thing - and if you're rotating between just say 5 cities, it's still a 20-year gap between events and things would need upgrading by then. B is more viable, depending how it's implemented.

I would suggest perhaps cities effectively put in two bids each - a "max bid" and a "min bid" - the max showing what they could do with the maximum number of new venues, the min bid concentrating more on utilising existing venues. Ultimately for the winning city the final games plan would sit somewhere in the middle, but I think such an approach would encourage a bit more honesty from bid cities and a bit more lateral thinking from the IOC.

One things for sure though - if it was down to the IOC, and not the host city, to pay for the games, they'd never have grown to such a grand scale.

P.S. Not quite sure how it exactly works but does the BidIndex here factor in budget?

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B.) Relax the requirements. Allow more distance between venues. Don't demand so many "glamour structures." Allow more existing and temporary venues.

The IOC has already done that with Rio. By far, the most 'spread out' bid of all the 2016 Candidates. And if the IOC wanted "glamour structures" for 2016, then they would've chosen Tokyo. I don't know why you keep insisting just because Rio was proposing to spend the most on infrastructure, that somehow that makes the IOC 'bad'.

I know as a citizen of any city that was going to massively improve infrastructure, that I'd be all for it. I'd much rather have better mass transit & or nice new parks instead of a huge, big stadium somewhere that most likely wouldn't have much use after the Games unlike the former. Again, you can't properly put a 'price tag' on such improvements, & also that's just simply another type of legacy aspect. Good on Rio that they're gonna improve the landscape for many of it's everyday citizens.

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Depends on what areas in the city will see development, and where the poor reside. If most of the venues are going to be far away from the slums (as many have indicated due to safety concerns), then the poor will not benefit so much. I have read articles about one of the biggest issues with Rio's poor, is the inaccessibility to more opportunities in the city. I am not saying that Rio's poor won't see some benefits, but I think the benefits will be minimal in the sense that most of the development won't be in the poorer/poorest sections of the city. Even if they did develop some of the poorer sections, it would be likely that some, if not many would be displaced (creating issues as well).

I agree, that unfortunately, Rio's extremely poor in the slums (although, if I remember correctly, 1 of the 4 custers is going to be fairly close to one of the city's slums) probably won't see as much benefit, but for the everyday commuting citizen I see tremendous benefit.

I'm sure Vancouver's homeless didn't get much benefit from the Winter Games, but your average everyday commuter I'm sure appreciates the new Sea-to-Sky highway expansion & espcially the new CanadaLine rail extention to the airport.

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The IOC has already done that with Rio. By far, the most 'spread out' bid of all the 2016 Candidates. And if the IOC wanted "glamour structures" for 2016, then they would've chosen Tokyo. I don't know why you keep insisting just because Rio was proposing to spend the most on infrastructure, that somehow that makes the IOC 'bad'.

I know as a citizen of any city that was going to massively improve infrastructure, that I'd be all for it. I'd much rather have better mass transit & or nice new parks instead of a huge, big stadium somewhere that most likely wouldn't have much use after the Games unlike the former. Again, you can't properly put a 'price tag' on such improvements, & also that's just simply another type of legacy aspect. Good on Rio that they're gonna improve the landscape for many of it's everyday citizens.

I agree with you. Indeed, I think Rio was far more realistic in accounting for the upgraded civil infrastructure needed to stage the games than most other bidders ever have ben. And i think tactically it was good for them to do so because it showed they were paying attention to how they can deliver the whole package rather than just present games-only estimates to make it look cheaper.

And whether a city's got a wide gap between rich and poor, or is generally broadly prosperous, every city can always make do with upgraded infrastructure from roads to transport to airports, which ultimately benefit all and equip a city to better face future challenges an opportunities. And it's events like the Olympics, or national anniversary celebrations or Expos etc, that all too often provide the focus and incentives for metropolises everywhere to commit to such investment.

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