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CTV: Former Beijing Olympic venues sit empty, lose cash


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The post-Game use of the Bird's Nest and Water Cube has been far from ideal, but most if not all the other venues built for the 2008 Games seem to be getting good usage (but that dosen't get reported).

It was smart of the Chinese to build venues on university campuses that could find regular usage for them.

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It was smart of the Chinese to build venues on university campuses that could find regular usage for them.

That was the same with Atlanta, they had a very good post games plan

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I think the article is just another in the long string of hyperbole with regards to the Olympics. A good Olympics is used as a catalyst for development, redevelopment and change that spurs growth and further development. Examples include Seoul, Barcelona, Atalnta and Sydney. To host an Olympics is to host an event that requires a major capital investment in one city. Is Vancouver better off now with their new transportation lines? Is Beijing better off with their new airport, transportation, environmental awareness? Was Korea served well by their renewed sense of self and the infrastructure that came with it.

Building for an Olympic games is no different then Berlin building their new airport, or the massive (all-be-it privately funded) redevelopment of that railyard on Manhattan, they just have a set timeline and goal that cooresponds to hosting an event.

People are too short-sighted and me-first, me-now to think of the longterm goals and legacy of an event. Sydney 2000 defined Australia for a generation, South Africa 2010 was a step in truly bringing South Africa into the global community, of recognizing Africa as an equal partner in the progress of that same community. There are so many intangibles with hosting an Olympic Games. Far beyond the money, it should be measured it what that money has bought you and how those things are being used now. And in that sense, the only failure has been Athens. No games will be perfect, the sheer scope and magnitude of the games will leave scars.

Bidding for, and hosting the Olympics is a lot like getting pregant. You maybe try and try and try and remain infertile, you may have the luck of the Irish and get it on the first go. It might take sometime before things start to incubate. 9 years later it burst forth for the world to see and you just have to rely on all the planning and advice you have recieved from previous host. Things are never smooth, go off without a hitch and the birth always leaves a mark. But in the end you are happy its there and couldn't imagine a world without it. 30 years from now you can look at the bundle of joy and see who was tops in the class (Tokyo and Barcelona), who had to struggle (Montreal) and those late bloomers that came into focus without a lot of fanfare (Seoul).

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It's really the Bird's Nest that's the main white elephant, and everybody knew when it was built that it was going to end up that way...it's just too expensive to keep and operate. Beijing Guo'an Football team was offered the place for their home, but refused due to operating costs and preferred to stay based out of the Workers Stadium (which was updated for the Olympics). The Water Cube loses money but is in use, I think they could be breaking even or making money there, but this is more of a lackluster Chinese management, marketing, and operations plan than a failing of the facility. Most of the other permanent venues are in active and even intensive use. The temporary venues (i.e. baseball) are dismantled and the pieces reused elsewhere. Prior to the Olympics, Beijing actually had a shortage of gymnasium and smaller to midsize range sporting facilities. So on balance and from what I know compared to past Summer Olympic sites, Beijing's facility repurposing and re-use plans have not gone all that badly.

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The cauldron looked great at night. Gotosy... While were at it what ever became of Calgary's cauldron? I remember there was a thread on here back in the day about cauldrons after the Olympics but i cant seem to find it.

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The cauldron looked great at night. Gotosy... While were at it what ever became of Calgary's cauldron? I remember there was a thread on here back in the day about cauldrons after the Olympics but i cant seem to find it.

Calgary has a few cauldrons. The big one is still at McMahon Stadium. I really don't know why they didn't relocate it so it can be accessible by tourists. Canada Olympic Park has it's small one (which is fired up on special occasions (at least once a year). The Nordic Centre in Canmore has it's small one - not sure if this one was lit recently. The Olympic Oval has a small one - this one is probably lit the most often as it is on the University's Campus - it's lit every year for graduation ceremonies and whenever there are skating competitions at the oval. And then you have the cauldron atop the Calgary Tower which is lit on rare special occasions, as this past week it was lit every night for the 100th Calgary Stampede.

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  • 2 weeks later...

SkiFreak, you forgot to mention the one at the Olympic Plaza, besides City Hall.

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It would be sad if the 'Birds Nest' is under utilised...But it is a legacy, China simply needs to use it more. At least it's not Athens - now that's sad.

On a different scale, Christchurch's QEII Stadium was left almost abandond after the 1974 CWGs, got little use untill the 1980s when a stupid fun park was built beside it to recover the heavy debt burdin on the city. Some sports (football, league) returned. It was even used as a Greyhound Racing track. Sadly the stadium started to feature more sports in the 90's and 00's, and was even considered in part of a future CWGs bid...The 2010 shake damaged it badly but the 2011 shake finished it off.

Sort of double edge sword...Debt free but a sad loss.

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Hope London's Cauldron is also put on display like Sydney and Beijing, just outside the Olympic Stadium for the general public to see.

Unfortunately, London won't have a cauldron to display after the games as each participating nation gets to take their petal home. (unless they'll display a replica?)

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  • 4 weeks later...

London didnt have the cauldron on display during the games (unless you had a ticket to the Athletics) so why would they bother with it after the games!

Its one of the few thing London got wrong.

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