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Temporary VS. Permanent (Olympic Venues)


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Now that I remind, I guess a temporary venue's worst enemy could be the federations of the sports that it'd temporary host :unsure:

I saw that for 2002 Commonwealth Games, when Manchester City Stadium was built, it was criticized the fact that it was converted into a football only stadium in this bbc article, here's the link http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/commonwealthgames2002/hi/features/newsid_2164000/2164264.stm

Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK

Athletics' stadium claim is pipe dream

By Rob Bonnet

BBC Sport

As the Commonwealth Games athletics programme draws to a close, so the hand-wringing begins.

Why hand the City of Manchester Stadium from needy athletics to gluttonous football?

When Jonathan Edwards, in The Times newspaper, and Seb Coe, on BBC Radio Five Live, ask the question, then we should listen.

But the sad truth is that we all know talk of saving the athletics track and leaving Manchester City at Maine Road uses the language of Never-Never Land.

Jonathan Edwards won gold in the triple jump

Edwards criticised the stadium handover

For a start, the Manchester City chairman David Bernstein has a deal to take delivery by August 2003 for what he hopes will be a second successive season of Premiership action.

But there is a touch of wishful thinking too from Edwards and Coe that the track and field sports that they love might have made some kind of lasting impression in Manchester.

That somehow a financial corner has been turned, that an athletics stadium could pay its way, waiting for an Olympics or World Athletics Championships that might one day come to the North West.

I am all for diversity in sport and truly wish it could be so. But it cannot and will not ever happen.

Should the track be saved? Have your say

Those heady evenings of Radcliffe, Fredericks and Edwards himself, owed almost everything to a stadium filled by a cheap ticket-pricing policy and warmed by the late July sunshine.

The capacity atmosphere was brilliant, but illusory.

Flash in the pan

The spectators were not all athletics fans - they were mostly big-occasion fans, paying their money to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The athletics was inspired but secondary.

Just as in Sydney, where Stadium Australia now stands as a non-paying monument to a sport which grabs our attention for no more than a fortnight every year.

Would those faithful fans at the Commonwealth Games morning heats fill the City of Manchester Stadium to watch future AAA's championships?

No more than they fill the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham now.

London favoured

And if it is a national athletics stadium with an international profile you want, then it is simply in the wrong place, unless the IOC and IAAF make a major U-turn.

Their view is that their Games and Championships can only take place at the bottom of the M1, and not half way up the M6.

Seb Coe's Five Live discussion floated in the direction of the World Cup and Japan's athletic-tracked football stadiums.

An example, they said, of how the two sports can co-exist.

The Sapporo Dome was one of the most impressive stadiums in the 2002 World Cup

Space-age Sapporo showed the possibilities

Plain wrong. Korea's football-orientated stadiums provided far better atmosphere than Japan's, which were largely disappointing.

As a Chelsea fan in his mid-forties, Seb may remember peering into the distance across Stamford Bridge's greyhound track at his boyhood heroes.

Surely he will not tell us the newly-intimate Stamford Bridge gives an inferior view, a diluted atmosphere?

No. The answer for co-existence requires vision, ingenuity and courage, and the Lottery.

A London stadium - maybe at Wembley - where computers, electronics and hydraulics raise and lower the pitch and also reconfigure the seating into perfect sight lines without resorting to Heath Robinson platforms.

Too much to ask? If the Japanese can turn from baseball to football and back again in Sapporo, then surely our best engineering brains can come up with something?

Another one about Manchester City Stadium before the track was removed http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/commonwealthgames2002/hi/sports_talk/newsid_2164000/2164711.stm

Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK

Should athletics track be saved?

The City of Manchester Stadium may never host athletics again

Jonathan Edwards and Seb Coe have called for the City of Manchester Stadium's athletics track to be retained after the Games.

Is this just pie in the sky?

HAVE YOUR SAY

The buzz surrounding the athletics programme in Manchester has led some to ask why the City of Manchester Stadium is being handed over to football after the Games.

Read Rob Bonnet's view

Manchester City have a deal to take delivery by August 2003 for what they hope will be a second successive season of Premiership action.

But some, including Coe, have pointed to Japan's World Cup stadia as an example of how football and athletics can co-exist.

Should athletics remain in Manchester?

HAVE YOUR SAY

open quote

The stadium would not have been built without a long-term tenant to ensure Manchester didn't inherit its own Millenium Dome

end quote

Jerry Serjeant,UK

I thought that the purpose of the National Lottery was to help sports like athletics that don't have a lot of money. My view is that football is a rich sport and can take care of itself. I never understood why public money is being put into Wembley.

It seems daft that the UK - with the fourth largest economy in the world - does not have facilities capable of holding the European, World Athletics or swimming championships. Commentators in the press seem to believe that the most important issue is the atmosphere for football supporters. Mixed use would be sensible, but it is unlikely to happen as the football lobby is too strong.

W Smith,Working in the US

I totally agree with Rob Bonnet. City are not getting the stadium for free. They are expected to pay around £1m per year to the City Council as well as attracting 40,000-plus crowds every other week to a run-down area of the city. The stadium would not have been built without a long-term tenant to ensure Manchester didn't inherit its own Millenium Dome.

Jerry Serjeant,UK

Manchester is the best athletics stadium in the country. If it remained we could host the European Championships and the World Championships. The atmosphere at the Commonwealths was brilliant. It seems crazy that it is being ripped up.

What makes it even worse is that the possibility of another stadium elsewhere to replace Manchester looks extremely unlikely especially given our track record of Wembley and Picketts Lock.

open quote

Athletics had the opportunity to fund or co-fund a permanent stadium, and turned it down

end quote

Steve, UK

Come on, it's about time athletics was given a real chance in this country - after all it is one of our most successful sports.

Malcolm Egner, UK

The decision to remove the track at Manchester post-Games is short-sighted and crass. There is no other comparable facility in the UK (including London) and further development of the sport demands access to such first-class facilities. I do not comprehend the reasoning - other than the financial benefit that will accrue to Man City FC. After all the effort put in by Manchester and other supporting bodies surely we can find a way to avoid this absurdity.

M J Lock, UK

After the Sydney Olympics, the track was moved about 300 yards to the State Athletics Stadium (still within the main Olympic complex.) Since the Olympics it has been used not only by elite athletes, but also by schools (my son's included) for their sports days.

This not only provides income for the stadium but gives the children a HUGE buzz to think they are running on the Olympic track. Keep the track in Manchester and capitalise on the success of the Games to give athletics and the community an ongoing boost.

Amanda Durack, Australia

I was at the last athletics night of the Games - and it was the best night of sporting action I have ever experienced.

But Rob is right. Athletics had the opportunity to fund or co-fund a permanent stadium, and turned it down. The reason was that they know there is no economic case for one.

Let's put aside the sentimentality, look back on the Games with the pride and affection they are due, then move on.

Steve, UK

open quote

Having a fantastic stadium sitting empty most of the year is a complete waste

end quote

Alex, England

Manchester has proved it can offer great enthusiasm and a unique atmosphere for a major sporting event. With the facilities already in place it is sad that they are to be torn down to make way for a second rate provincial football club.

I was surprised by Rob Bonnet's remarks. Why pour cold water on what has been an overwhelming success?

Anthony Scanlon, England

As an athlete, I find it hard to believe that whilst other countries manage to have a football pitch with a running track round it, Great Britain is incapable of doing so. I think it is a disgrace that the track is going to be taken up.

With UK Athletics' policy of having international competition's around the various parts of the country, having a stadium in Manchester would be excellent.

Abi Onatade, Great Britain

As an ex-athlete I experienced stadiums that varied from virtually empty (British League meetings), to half empty (AAA's, etc). The only time I was ever in a really busy stadium was the indoor track at Kelvin Hall, which holds far fewer people. A small, but busy stadium generates far more atmosphere than a vast empty one.

Athletics, disappointingly, is very much a third string sport and does not pull in the crowds. Having a fantastic stadium sitting empty most of the year is a complete waste.

open quote

It would be a great loss for the track to be removed

end quote

Lindsay Howarth, England

Ideally, several smaller stadiums around the country (around 5-6000 capacity) for most events would be sufficient, with a national stadium that can be converted as described in Rob's article for the big occasions.

Alex, England

Manchester City are actually swapping grounds, with the Council getting Maine Road in return. To say they are being "given" the ground is misleading - rent will also be paid to Manchester council towards the cost. This in turn, allowed for a budget to ensure the only things "given away" were tickets for the Games.

This ensured a full stadium and the atmosphere it created and we all enjoyed. Some people need to take off those rose-coloured wrap-arounds.

Andy, England

I think it would be a great loss for the track to be removed. The city of Manchester has hosted the best event I've ever seen in Britain, so I think it should be kept as an Athletics track.

Start a petition to keep the track, the nation wants to keep it! Our lives shouldn't completely revolve around football!

Lindsay Howarth, England

open quote

Manchester should be a multiuse stadium, and football isn't the only sport we should cater for

end quote

Mikko, England

Of course the stadium should be retained for athletics. Manchester City are a business, and should either build their own ground or go out of business. It's about time this country realised that football is a disaster area, stopped throwing money at it and started supporting sports we are actually good at.

Donald, Scotland

I have to agree with the words of Rob Bonnet. I have thoroughly enjoyed these Commonwealth Games; the atmosphere has been amazing and I truly hope that the profile of athletics has been raised throughout Great Britain as a result.

However, when it comes to the future of the stadium it boils down to the fact that Manchester City FC will bring in 48,000 spectators a week. Athletics will not.

Stuart,England

How many world-class venues for athletics do we have in this country? Manchester should be a multiuse stadium, and football isn't the only sport we should cater for. We expect much of our sportsmen and women, but are we willing to give them the stage to perform on?

Mikko, England

I've been to every evening of the athletics, and although I have had an excellent week it is totally unrealistic to expect it to remain as an athletics track. There's no way they would fill that stadium if it wasn't for the big occasion of the Commonwealth Games.

Jim, Manchester, UK

As someone who visited the track and field events last Saturday, I think that the stadium should be mixed use. With football TV revenues dropping it seems sensible to stage multiple sports in modern stadia. As for the view, I had an excellent view of the stadium from my seat and would have been able to see the whole of a football game without hindrance.

Gareth Evans,England

The track should definitely be saved - no doubt about it. Britain is short of quality athletics venues and drowning in football stadia! Give other sports a chance!

Kerry Dixon, UK

Here I go again (for a strange reason my message was mixed with the other one) :blink:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/commonwealthgames2002/hi/sports_talk/newsid_2164000/2164711.stm

Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK

Should athletics track be saved?

The City of Manchester Stadium may never host athletics again

Jonathan Edwards and Seb Coe have called for the City of Manchester Stadium's athletics track to be retained after the Games.

Is this just pie in the sky?

HAVE YOUR SAY

The buzz surrounding the athletics programme in Manchester has led some to ask why the City of Manchester Stadium is being handed over to football after the Games.

Read Rob Bonnet's view

Manchester City have a deal to take delivery by August 2003 for what they hope will be a second successive season of Premiership action.

But some, including Coe, have pointed to Japan's World Cup stadia as an example of how football and athletics can co-exist.

Should athletics remain in Manchester?

HAVE YOUR SAY

open quote

The stadium would not have been built without a long-term tenant to ensure Manchester didn't inherit its own Millenium Dome

end quote

Jerry Serjeant,UK

I thought that the purpose of the National Lottery was to help sports like athletics that don't have a lot of money. My view is that football is a rich sport and can take care of itself. I never understood why public money is being put into Wembley.

It seems daft that the UK - with the fourth largest economy in the world - does not have facilities capable of holding the European, World Athletics or swimming championships. Commentators in the press seem to believe that the most important issue is the atmosphere for football supporters. Mixed use would be sensible, but it is unlikely to happen as the football lobby is too strong.

W Smith,Working in the US

I totally agree with Rob Bonnet. City are not getting the stadium for free. They are expected to pay around £1m per year to the City Council as well as attracting 40,000-plus crowds every other week to a run-down area of the city. The stadium would not have been built without a long-term tenant to ensure Manchester didn't inherit its own Millenium Dome.

Jerry Serjeant,UK

Manchester is the best athletics stadium in the country. If it remained we could host the European Championships and the World Championships. The atmosphere at the Commonwealths was brilliant. It seems crazy that it is being ripped up.

What makes it even worse is that the possibility of another stadium elsewhere to replace Manchester looks extremely unlikely especially given our track record of Wembley and Picketts Lock.

open quote

Athletics had the opportunity to fund or co-fund a permanent stadium, and turned it down

end quote

Steve, UK

Come on, it's about time athletics was given a real chance in this country - after all it is one of our most successful sports.

Malcolm Egner, UK

The decision to remove the track at Manchester post-Games is short-sighted and crass. There is no other comparable facility in the UK (including London) and further development of the sport demands access to such first-class facilities. I do not comprehend the reasoning - other than the financial benefit that will accrue to Man City FC. After all the effort put in by Manchester and other supporting bodies surely we can find a way to avoid this absurdity.

M J Lock, UK

After the Sydney Olympics, the track was moved about 300 yards to the State Athletics Stadium (still within the main Olympic complex.) Since the Olympics it has been used not only by elite athletes, but also by schools (my son's included) for their sports days.

This not only provides income for the stadium but gives the children a HUGE buzz to think they are running on the Olympic track. Keep the track in Manchester and capitalise on the success of the Games to give athletics and the community an ongoing boost.

Amanda Durack, Australia

I was at the last athletics night of the Games - and it was the best night of sporting action I have ever experienced.

But Rob is right. Athletics had the opportunity to fund or co-fund a permanent stadium, and turned it down. The reason was that they know there is no economic case for one.

Let's put aside the sentimentality, look back on the Games with the pride and affection they are due, then move on.

Steve, UK

open quote

Having a fantastic stadium sitting empty most of the year is a complete waste

end quote

Alex, England

Manchester has proved it can offer great enthusiasm and a unique atmosphere for a major sporting event. With the facilities already in place it is sad that they are to be torn down to make way for a second rate provincial football club.

I was surprised by Rob Bonnet's remarks. Why pour cold water on what has been an overwhelming success?

Anthony Scanlon, England

As an athlete, I find it hard to believe that whilst other countries manage to have a football pitch with a running track round it, Great Britain is incapable of doing so. I think it is a disgrace that the track is going to be taken up.

With UK Athletics' policy of having international competition's around the various parts of the country, having a stadium in Manchester would be excellent.

Abi Onatade, Great Britain

As an ex-athlete I experienced stadiums that varied from virtually empty (British League meetings), to half empty (AAA's, etc). The only time I was ever in a really busy stadium was the indoor track at Kelvin Hall, which holds far fewer people. A small, but busy stadium generates far more atmosphere than a vast empty one.

Athletics, disappointingly, is very much a third string sport and does not pull in the crowds. Having a fantastic stadium sitting empty most of the year is a complete waste.

open quote

It would be a great loss for the track to be removed

end quote

Lindsay Howarth, England

Ideally, several smaller stadiums around the country (around 5-6000 capacity) for most events would be sufficient, with a national stadium that can be converted as described in Rob's article for the big occasions.

Alex, England

Manchester City are actually swapping grounds, with the Council getting Maine Road in return. To say they are being "given" the ground is misleading - rent will also be paid to Manchester council towards the cost. This in turn, allowed for a budget to ensure the only things "given away" were tickets for the Games.

This ensured a full stadium and the atmosphere it created and we all enjoyed. Some people need to take off those rose-coloured wrap-arounds.

Andy, England

I think it would be a great loss for the track to be removed. The city of Manchester has hosted the best event I've ever seen in Britain, so I think it should be kept as an Athletics track.

Start a petition to keep the track, the nation wants to keep it! Our lives shouldn't completely revolve around football!

Lindsay Howarth, England

open quote

Manchester should be a multiuse stadium, and football isn't the only sport we should cater for

end quote

Mikko, England

Of course the stadium should be retained for athletics. Manchester City are a business, and should either build their own ground or go out of business. It's about time this country realised that football is a disaster area, stopped throwing money at it and started supporting sports we are actually good at.

Donald, Scotland

I have to agree with the words of Rob Bonnet. I have thoroughly enjoyed these Commonwealth Games; the atmosphere has been amazing and I truly hope that the profile of athletics has been raised throughout Great Britain as a result.

However, when it comes to the future of the stadium it boils down to the fact that Manchester City FC will bring in 48,000 spectators a week. Athletics will not.

Stuart,England

How many world-class venues for athletics do we have in this country? Manchester should be a multiuse stadium, and football isn't the only sport we should cater for. We expect much of our sportsmen and women, but are we willing to give them the stage to perform on?

Mikko, England

I've been to every evening of the athletics, and although I have had an excellent week it is totally unrealistic to expect it to remain as an athletics track. There's no way they would fill that stadium if it wasn't for the big occasion of the Commonwealth Games.

Jim, Manchester, UK

As someone who visited the track and field events last Saturday, I think that the stadium should be mixed use. With football TV revenues dropping it seems sensible to stage multiple sports in modern stadia. As for the view, I had an excellent view of the stadium from my seat and would have been able to see the whole of a football game without hindrance.

Gareth Evans,England

The track should definitely be saved - no doubt about it. Britain is short of quality athletics venues and drowning in football stadia! Give other sports a chance!

Kerry Dixon, UK

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It sounds as though many here think the IOC turned over a new leaf in selecting Rio. Perhaps there is some truth to this. The proof is in the pudding though. Let's see if these sweeping infrastructure improvements actually materialize and actually benefit the Cariocas.

I would still argue that the majority of Olympic expenditures are about creating a facade to display to the world, rather than addressing the core issues.

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I also think it's interesting that the IOC still chose the most expensive bid to host 2016 -- and Rio was the most expensive by a wide margin. Yes, more funds were being spent on infrastructure than the other bids, but in Rio this was absolutely necessary. Can you imagine the pricetag if they were trying to add a bunch of new venues too? It would've been totally unworkable.

Plus, there's existing and there's existing. A venue that's been around for 50 years or more is one thing. Most of Rio's venues were built for the Pan Am Games -- so although they're "existing" they're still much newer than most and reasonably slick looking.

I still think the IOC is mightily impressed by big budgets and new venues and I'm not convinced their choice of Rio disproves that.

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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.

1. My venue and park integration concept was only in reference to Chicago's bid, which had existing parks, but from the plans/renders were not really Olympic sites, but just happened to be an open space for venues, rather than an integrated site. e.g. even if they were just adding some paving directing spectators from various corners to the park to the venue.

2. Rio's cost are definitely not astronomical given the level of infrastructure investment in developing countries. South Africa's world cup venues combined are nothing more than a blip on the radar of an R850 billion infrastructure program.

Almost the entire Copacabana "cluster" is temporary. The aquatic centre, and hockey venues are both temporary, so only the OTC is permanent. The X-park is a great idea and even it has a significant amount of temporary seating, if not entirely temporary seating. Its main stadia for football and athletics are in place, significantly reducing costs

The only thing glamorous about Rio's bid is the location and perhaps they have actually been a bit more reasonable in anticipating the real costs of developing and delivering their Games infrastructure. Although the budget will likely triple anyway,thats just how things work

3. The IOC does NOT demand any permanent venues and certainly does NOT demand glamorous venues.

I've looked into it and there are perhaps 1 or 2 venues that need to be permanent. Even in the case of the rowing lake, it can simply be used temporarily during the Games if its an existing water body. Modular technology has progressed and evolved to the point where venues can be designed as entirely modular structures.

In addition London presented its temporary venues during the Games are glamorous structures. Something all bid cities are allowed to do to "sell" their plans.

4. The IOC does not necessarily mind distances, its just such a hugh logistical operation that large travel times for athletes and spectators to various isolated/stand alone sites or venues places a tremendous pressure on event transport servic es and infrastructure even in the modern well connected European cities.

What the IOC does want, and will allow is slightly greater distances as in Rio, but a clear Games concept in terms of clusters and transport.

Venues 10-20km are fine if they are within four major regions/clusters, with dedicated routes BUT venues scattered all over the place between 10-20km is very difficult to service in terms of resoureces, security, infrastructure etc.

Any future bid MUST present a clear cluster concept. Any venue can simply be relocated after the Games to serve the legacy needs of communities.

5. By rotating the Games between cities that are "generally" ready means no Barcelona. The Games remain a major urban project beyond sports venues. Its a means of accelerating infrastructure plans already in place for most cities, and most importantly creates a deadline for these projects to be delivered. Spending on these non-Olympic projects is often 3 or four times the spend on venues, and perhaps a real legacy of hosting the Games. Even in Athens with tons of red tape and complications, when a deadline is set, authorities are forced to come together, find the funding and deliver where possible.

Lets not be fooled. The Olympic Games are a luxury as Roltel, TNMP, RobH and Baron will confirm. They are a choice. The IOC does not force any city to enter.

Enter the race at your own risk, and if you are going to go for the win, you NEED to sell your city. Its a glamorous high stakes races, which unlike the Olympic Games awards no silver or bronze prize,as Mr. Bach will inform you during the Applicant city briefing.

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The Games remain a major urban project beyond sports venues. Its a means of accelerating infrastructure plans already in place for most cities, and most importantly creates a deadline for these projects to be delivered. Spending on these non-Olympic projects is often 3 or four times the spend on venues, and perhaps a real legacy of hosting the Games. Even in Athens with tons of red tape and complications, when a deadline is set, authorities are forced to come together, find the funding and deliver where possible.

Yeah, that hit the nail on the head. All large cities face constant need to keep improving and updating infrastructure. What the Olympics, and other special events of its type does, is set a deadline and perhaps accelerate projects that are needed and likely would be done anyway.

I wish Sydney had an event like it again (here's hoping EC 2020 does the trick) to focus efforts to make some badly needed fixes and investment in transport.

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I agree, that Rio's venues were not necessarily the most "glamorous". But Rio's renders were great though, and the setting could not be matched. It was made known that Rio had the least amount of venues ready, and by far had the most venues that needed updating (permanent work required). Rio did a good job convincing the IOC that they were up the task, and I think all of the debate about WC 2014 being a hinderance more than a help proves that the WC preparations favored Rio.

I took these venue charts from their bid books for comparison back when the race was hot. I don't know why I didn't include Madrid (I guess some of us felt that their bid was a lost cause at the time). Some may find interest in me showing them here:

Rio 2016 Proposal

rio-venues.gif

Tokyo 2016 Proposal

tokyo-venues.gif

Chicago 2016 Proposal

chicago-venues.gif

In the end, Rio had the biggest price tag, and the biggest risk. The IOC seemed up for the challenge. My biggest question would be their desire to go to another new frontier in 2020, or will their concerns and energies be worn out with Rio. On one hand, Athens and Beijing each posed their unique challenges. I think the IOC was quite fortunate having London on board for 2012 before the economy went sour. Could you imagine what Athens 2012 would have looked like? I think if people want to point fingers at the IOC, Sochi seems more appropriate than Rio. But that is said and done, and we will just have to how things are in 2014 and beyond.

*** Correction, I took those charts from the evaluation commission report.

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Mo, I see your points.

I agree that the Olympics do provide an opportunity for cities to make major, much-needing infrastructure improvements. However, I question what other more critical needs are passed over in the process. I also wonder if the nature of the infrastructure improvements is designed primarily for the local residents or primarily for the 2 week party.

No, the IOC doesn't "require" all the bells and whistles, but they obviously find them attractive, as their host selections show. I cannot imagine the IOC ever going for a primarily temporary venue plan.

I have said elsewhere that I agree the bid cities are responsible for any white elephants and negative legacy. The IOC cannot twist anyone's arm. The IOC does, however, provide strong temptation and they have demonstrated what type of bids they are most likely to reward.

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There are two types of infrastructure

1. Event services e.g. 500 buses which can be sourced from the rest of the city

2. Legacy services e.g. airport rail link, new train stations etc.

You could

A. provide a bus shuttle service from point A to point B during the Games to cope with high demand

OR

B. Construct a BRT link with bus stations from A to B with additional buses to cope with demand, which are then spread elsewhere in the city after the Games, leaving a real legacy

Almost any city can get in transport consultants to plan and deliver event transport, buts its up to the city if residents benefit from a lasting legacy.

Its up to the city to align the Games to their urban structure.

Some are still convinced that new roads, rail etc. only benefit the rich when in fact everyone benefits.

The IOC have demonstrated the type of bids they want, but it once more comes down to "selling" your bid. Its a competition, not a charity contest.

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I guess conditioning venues for Olympics in Rio will take more money than it looks.

Maracana will have a new roof, Joao Havelange Stadium will have new tribunes, I guess Sambodrome will have some temporary renovations for marathon's finish line, I'm not sure if Aquatic Center that it's close to Maracana will suffer renovations, but that and every transport renovations just as public infrastructure would represent biggers costs than the rest of 2016 candidates.

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The new rail and BRT links are permanent legacies. They are not going anywhere. Rio needs them with or without the Games. The Games provides the city with a clear deadline, and guaranteed government funds, a huge luxury during recessionary times.

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A lot of the Beijing venue legacy discussion focuses on the Bird's Nest. But what about all those arenas and other venues they built on university campuses and elsewhere? Are they being adequately used? It would seem unfair to definitly judge the legacy and venue planning smarts of Beijing by the well-known current status of one or two single venues.

I'm not going to get into the issues of long-term legacy of Beijing, or effects on the Olympic movement, or human cost, etc. etc. but as to the permanent physical facilities that were either new construction or major renovations:

With some notable exceptions, all of them are more than adequately used and in most cases, were sorely needed with or without the Olympics. Especially the facilities on the university campuses. Previously existing facilities such as Capital Gym, Workers Stadium, Workers Arena, are back in use hosting events as they did in their pre-Olympics days. Other non-uni new facilities such as Tennis Center, Shooting, Velodrome, etc are being used for competitions, and also as the base for Chinese national team training.

Major exceptions:

Wukesong--definitely useable and one of the best arenas of its type in Beijing, underutilization problem here is mismanagement and meddling (by government). The adjacent area (formerly the baseball stadiums) is under redevelopment that was always planned.

Water Cube--same issues as above. The facility itself is definitely needed to fulfill local needs as well as hosting intl competitions, but also mismanagement and lack of vision.

Birds Nest. White elephant as many predicted even back during the design phase. The cost of construction was just too great--even with cheap Chinese labor--to ever make the long-term financials work. Exacerbating the problem is that many large-scale events that could be held there to at least provide some revenue (rock concerts, etc) are not permitted by the government, or get their assembly permits revoked. Remember, this is a government with serious worries about "control" and "disharmony" whenever people gather in large numbers.

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The new rail and BRT links are permanent legacies. They are not going anywhere. Rio needs them with or without the Games. The Games provides the city with a clear deadline, and guaranteed government funds, a huge luxury during recessionary times.

I see the value of infrastructure improvements, but I need to point out an inconsistency. On the one hand you say "Rio needs them," but on the other hand you describe the transportation improvements as "a huge luxury." This is my point exactly. Olympic bids tend to blur the lines between necessity and luxury. Especially in the "recessionary times" that you describe, one needs to make sure that the most pressing needs are met first. I am not an expert on Rio, but I have the sinking feeling that some of the priorities are getting a bit confused. I would argue that this happens for ANY Olympic host.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, if you can build a parallel between London 2012 and Rio 2016, it has to be about urban reform. RobH can correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I have seen the London project involves refurbishing the East side, which my friends who live there consider wasteland. In Rio, the upgrades in the transport infrastructure seems to be the highlight of the legacy plan. I cannot say much about the London plans, but I can certify the plans for Rio as being just in line with the city needs.

First, unlike what I have read here, none of the clusters is actually far from slums. On the contrary, all of them have slums in the vicinity and the Maracanã cluster is surrounded by them. The Barra cluster is less than 2 km away from the infamous City of God and several small slums are in the margins of Estrada dos Bandeirantes, some which will be less than 1 km far from the OV. There is also the Vila Autódromo slum, which will be relocated for the construction of the Olympic Park. The Maracanã stadium is on the opposite side of the railway line from Mangueira, a major slum and it is on the cross roads from Tijuca, Andaraí and Vila Isabel districts, home of around 7 or 8 slums. The sambódromo is just below São Carlos slum and São Januário stadium is below Barreira do Vasco, another slum. The Copacabana cluster has many favelas as well, including some very close to main venues, such as Chapéu Mangueira which will be close to the beach volleyball stadium, Pavão-Pavãozinho-Cantagalo which will be close to the open water swimming and triathlon and Crizada de São Sebastião which is less than 500m away from the rowing/ canoeing venue. Surprisingly (for non-cariocas), the poorest region to receive the Games (Deodoro) is the one with less favelas, since the venues will be built inside military barracks.

Second, the transport links will help a lot the poor for two reasons: they are the main customers of the public transport network and many of the improvements will pass by concentrations of slums and other lower-middle-class and low-class neighborhoods. The improvements on the Deodoro and Engenho de Dentro rail lines will benefit the masses that can profit from this transport from poor neighborhoods in Rio and surrounding cities which are served by Rio's most ancient transport network. The rail lines that carried more than 1 million people in the 80's have been abandoned and, if refurbished, will be able to transport many people from distant neighborhoods to the city center. The improvements in the subway system will reduce transit times to Barra and serve several slums in the city South Side, including Rocinha, Cruzada and Pavão-Pavãozinho-Cantagalo. The new BRT lines which includes 2 in the Olympic plan (C Link and T5 Corridor and a line in Av. Brasil and a 3rd line from Santa Cruz to Barra will allow distant districts to be connected with the most economically dynamic district and provide shortened links to the South Side through the Barra subway link. Finally, the existence of mass transit links between those far districts to the city center, South Side and Barra will release the pressure for the creation of new slums, which are basically fed by the need to live close to job opportunities.

So, the SOG bid has put on a plan to implement major infrastructure upgrades that will benefit for decades to come. If we did not have this 2016 deadline in front of us, people would be arguing, like they have (and still are in some extent) for the past 25 years, about what would be the best. Now, the pressure is in the government levels to deliver something for 2016, so there is no time to discuss, but to implement something that will fulfill the needs even though something "better" (subway instead of BRT), because it would take too long.

But why would the IOC see those kinds of proposals as an advantage when choosing the host city? Simple, because it shows where a city can "profit" from hosting the SOG. If the investment bill cannot be paid by the revenues, the benefit for the population can justify the expenditures. Having examples of cities which have done significant improvements in their urban life through hosting the SOG will attract other cities to bid, even though they might not make money out of it. If the IOC keeps showing that, more cities will be interested in bidding. The more cities are interested in bidding, the bigger the chance for the SOG to survive and evolve.

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I have written so much about the legacy that I have failed to write something about the temporary vs. permanent issue.

I don't think that's the main point, but building permanent venues might attract the votes of specific IFs, such as the IAAF. I believe that the best thing is to build permanent structures where temporary venues will be placed. In Rio, for instance, the OTC is a permanent building, but the venues are all temporary, since they will be used for other purposes after the SOG. The X-Park will follow the same path. For the 2007 Pan-Ams, the infrastructure built for Modern Pentathlon, Equestrian and Shooting in Deodoro are used for practicing by the Brazilian Army. In all of this cases, there was a legacy. From the PanAm Games, the only structures that are not fully used are the Maria Lenk Water Park and the Velodrome. However, the NOC is starting to use those facilities for several sports training. Track cyclists are already using the velodrome and Tae-Kwon-Do and Judo teams are training in some structures in Maria Lenk. Later, those 2 venues are going to be incorporated in the OTC.

By the way, the lake is used for rowing for a long time. Rowing is a traditional sport in Rio, with the 2 most popular football teams in Rio (C.R. Flamengo and C.R. Vasco da Gama) having been created as rowing clubs. Flamengo HQ is just in front of the rowing stadium, which was built before I was born. Before football became popular in the early 1910 decade, rowing was the most popular sport in the city.

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Remember, this is a government with serious worries about "control" and "disharmony" whenever people gather in large numbers.

What about when the Ma, Fong and Wing clans hold their grand reunions? I mean those family names number in the 20-30 millions?? :lol:

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Aluz, I have to say that I really appreciate your most recent posts. I am glad to hear that you are so confident that the Games will bring a meaningful benefit to the people. Your specific analysis is very helpful to those of us who are not so well acquainted with Rio. May all these improvements be realized as fully as possible.

It is still disappointing to me that the IOC still consistently selects the bid that requires the most new construction -- whether that construction is focused primarily on venues or on infrastructure. IF the new construction offers meaningful improvements to the lives of the people in the host city, certainly the decision is more justifiable. I sincerely hope that the PEOPLE of the Olympic host cities truly get their money's worth and not just a two-week extravaganza.

I would still like to see the IOC embrace smaller scale Games and more temporary structures.

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Its not that simple. Using that logic Barcelona would not have happened.

The benefit to the Olympic brand of the Games as a transformative/urban regeneration project is why cities return to the bidding war.

Great marketing, and in many countries, these deadlines are vital to get things in planning, into reality.

I hardly think Rio's bid is elaborate, but when compared to Madrid, Chicago and Tokyo, yes Rio will really benefit when the transport infrastructure is delivered. For such a large metropolitan area, these links are vital.

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I don't think it's simple at all.

I also don't think it's reasonable to compare the situation leading up to 1992 with the situation leading up to 2020. The Olympics have changed a great deal.

Barcelona's Games revealed the city to the world -- I don't know that they involved a radical reinvention. They certainly provided some polish, but nothing on the scale of Beijing or London.

I hope that Aluz is right and that Rio actually gets some tangible benefit out of their expenditures. If this proves to be the case, then perhaps the Games are moving in a healthier direction.

Agree w/ you about Cape Town. Disagree about ultra-expensive gargantuan Games.

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Barcelona was more than a "polish". It was a huge urban transformation, with the Olympic Games so closely tied in with its own urban regeneration pans. Barcelona and Rio are certainly different but the catalyst of the Olympic Games for Barcelona will always be a strong case for using the Games to transform your city.

I suggest you read up on it.

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Athens, it was a "big" coming out party for Barcelona. In Franco's time, Madrid purposely let Barcelona deteriorate and never gave them big federal subsidies...and of course, El Jefe in his undying devotion to his boss, accepted all this and put aside his Catalan pride second. (The uniform and titles were more important than home-town pride.) But when the Big Cheese frittered away and JAS was now, on his own, becoming the Big Cheese of the Olympic world, he saw the Games as the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate Barcelona.

The biggest projects were the masive overhaul of the old port and turning the Montjuic complex into the Olympic center. And then Las Ramblas and most of the neighborhoods were also all brought up to snuff.

I actually had a neighbor once who told me that he left Barcelona the moment it got the Games because he wasn't going to choke in the 6 years of dust and rebuilding that was going to reshape his hometown.

BTW, there was a Chanel No. 5 TV ad aired over the winter (with Audrey Tatou) which started out in that very beautiful art deco port terminal of Barcelona. They almost tore down that gem of a building in the final Franco years.

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I understand that Barcelona was a "huge coming out party" and that it is universally agreed upon as the most prominent example of realizing the marketing potential inherent in an Olympic Games. Before '92 it was not a tourist mecca and ever since it has been. I was under the impression, however, that the Olympics were just an added incentive for the revitalization -- not the primary reason for it.

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I understand that Barcelona was a "huge coming out party" and that it is universally agreed upon as the most prominent example of realizing the marketing potential inherent in an Olympic Games. Before '92 it was not a tourist mecca and ever since it has been. I was under the impression, however, that the Olympics were just an added incentive for the revitalization -- not the primary reason for it.

well, yeah...but where do you draw the line between just Olympic-related 'new' items and we-want-to-spiff-up-the-rest-of-the-host-city-as-well stuff? I mean I don't think polishing your whole service set is a violation of Olympic bidding rules as opposed to only the teapot. Well, u know Barcelona still hasn't finished with the Sagrada Familia cathedral. :lol::lol:

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As such it depends on a a particular city that which venue is better because sometimes it may happen that permanent venue for one city is good but for the other city it may not be good. But if I want to choose one then I will go with temporary venue as it seems better then permanent one.

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