Thursday, October 28, 2010

With Management Company Out, Stadium's Future is Uncertain in Cape Town

The city of Cape Town had justified the major expense it was taking on to build the brand new Green Point Stadium for the 2010 World Cup by pointing to the fact that it had contracted a management group to make sure the stadium remained in use and pulled in revenue. But now that company has pulled out and the city's $639 million stadium is treading towards white elephant territory.

Capetonians are divided over whether the stadium is an elegant icon or a useless monument to South Africa’s excessive spending on the World Cup. Other stadiums – such as the 45,000-seater Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit, which cost R1.3bn (€134m), and the Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane (cost: R1.25m) were always expected to become white elephants. But Cape Town’s stylish stadium was the most expensive of the 10 World Cup venues, leading everyone to believe that the number crunchers considered it sustainable.

The empty stadiums: South Africa’s white elephants
October 21, 2010

Blair Touts Physical and Cultural Legacies of Games on Trip to Brazil

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently met with officials in Brazil to advise the country on its Olympic preparations. He stressed the importance of long-term physical and cultural legacies.

He said one of the most important benefits of hosting major events is not only improving infrastructure and building top sports facilities, but also to encourage the use of sports to aid communities.

"Part of the legacy is about what sport can do to society," he said. "Sport today is far more important that just sport itself. It can be used as a great anti-crime policy, a great health policy."

Blair hopes the London Games will give youngsters the chance to discover sports and learn what it can do to their lives. He added that many of them first learn basic social skills thanks to sports.

Blair to Rio Olympic organizers: Focus on legacy
USA Today
October 26, 2010

Stadium Work Could Spread to Brazil for South African Companies

Some of the South African companies that helped build and renovate that country's stadia for the 2010 World Cup are bidding to do similar work in Brazil ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Several have pitched for construction and renovation of some of the 12 stadiums in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. The South American country last hosted the tournament in 1950.

While the South African government allocated more than R8.4-billion ($1.9 billion USD) for building and renovating 10 stadiums, Brazil will be spending a reported R18.6-billion ($2.6 billion USD) on its 12 stadiums.

Brazil eyes our stadium builders
October 24, 2010

Sochi Construction Re-Discovers Archaeological Site

An 8th century archaeological site in Russia that was discovered in the 1950s and then lost again has been re-discovered during the massive construction and preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

When the Imereti lowland was chosen as a construction site for future Olympic venues for the Sochi Winter games in 2014, almost every corner was carefully surveyed and that's when this part of history was rediscovered.

Sochi Olympics construction dredging up archeological sites
Russian Times
October 25, 2010

World Cup Hosting Not Worth it for Australia

Despite the touted merits of hosting a mega-event like the World Cup, Australia doesn't stand to benefit as much as other countries might, writes Richard Tomlinson, an urban planning professor at the University of Melbourne.

A dramatic example is that the anticipated $4 billion benefit for cities in the US of hosting the 1994 World Cup were later found to have resulted in a net cost to the host cities' economies of $9.26 billion. With independent academics now accepting that no economic benefits can be expected from hosting the Olympics or a FIFA World Cup, attention has turned to what is called ''legacy planning''.

The London 2012 Olympics legacy is intended to be urban renewal. But prosaic legacies are not being marketed in Australia.

Lucky the country that loses its Cup bid
The Sydney Morning Herald
October 23, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Russia Withdraws 2022 Bid in Hopes of Securing 2018 World Cup

Russia has withdrawn its bid to host the 2022 World Cup and shifted its bid to the 2018 bidding war.

Russia and England are bidding to stage the 2018 World Cup along with joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands while Japan, South Korea, Qatar, United States and Australia are candidates for 2022.

Russia pull out of 2022 World Cup bid
October 22, 2010

U.S. Focuses on 2022 World Cup Bid

The U.S. has officially withdrawn its bid to host the 2018 World Cup, but it remains in the running for the 2022 Cup. With England heavily favored to win the 2018 hosting duties, the U.S. team is hoping for better chances at securing hosting duties in 2022.

Australia, which withdrew its bid to host the 2018 edition in June, joins Japan, South Korea, Qatar and the U.S. as hopefuls for 2022.

U.S. Withdraws 2018 World Cup Bid, Vies With Japan, Korea For 2022 Site
October 15, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Doha Metro Relies on Successful World Cup Bid

Officials planning a new subway system in Doha, Qatar, say work on the metro system could begin as soon as December -- as that is when the country will know whether it has been chosen as host of the 2022 World Cup.

One contractor said that “We believe to stimulate the procurement process for rail in Qatar it will be driven by the announcement of the 2022 World Cup. A lot depends on Fifa.” Another industry observer said that “If they (Qatar) get it then it will all be ready by 2020. If not, it will be delayed and they will maybe just do one line of the metro. The 2022 FIFA bid will play a prominent role in the speed of development of the rail network.”

Doha metro could move ahead in December

Group Wants 2024 Olympics in Hawaii

A group at the University of Hawaii is trying to push an effort to lure the 2024 Olympics to Honolulu.

Associate Professor Amy Christie Anderson and her team have conducted preliminary research, created early designs and mapped out three staging options: spreading the events around the Hawaiian Islands, collecting them along Oahu’s south shore from Kapolei to East Honolulu, or concentrating everything in a single area such as Kalaeloa or Iwilei.

Many cities and countries use the Olympics to market themselves to the world. Of course, Hawaii already has a global image, but the Olympics might sell the idea that this is a place to do more than just relax on the beach.

Can Hawaii Capture the 2024 Olympics?
Hawaii Business
October 2010

England, U.S. Shake Up 2018/2022 World Cup Bids

As the United States considers pulling out of the running for the 2018 World Cup, England is thinking about pulling out of the 2022 race, which some suggest is a good sign that England will win 2018 and the U.S. will win 2022.

England and other European bidders Russia, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands are still vying for both events as a formality.

The United States is the only non-European country still contesting both editions, after Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea focused their resources on 2022.

The Americans have said they will withdraw from 2018 bidding only if asked to by FIFA or UEFA president Michel Platini.

England to withdraw 2022 World Cup bid and focus on 2018
The Canadian Press
September 28, 2010

Incoming Brazilian President Will Have Hands Full of Sport

As Brazil's presidential election heads into a runoff election, the new head of state will be faced with a number of challenges -- mainly related to the country's hosting of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Great uncertainties hang over the ambitious plans submitted to FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.

The 2016 Olympic Games will be the first held in South America, and Rio de Janeiro, the host city, will need around $17 billion in public and private funds to stage it, according to official and independent estimates.

Forty percent of that sum will have to be invested in transport, to resolve Rio's chaotic road system and languishing rail network, and to boost the bus fleet and metro system.
Security is also a priority to tame endemic violence. Urban reorganization will have to take place. The number of hotel rooms need to be doubled.

Olympics, World Cup: challenges for Brazil's new president
Agence France Presse
September 28, 2010

Tough Lessons for Delhi from Commonwealth Games

Seen as a major opportunity for Delhi and India to showcase themselves, problems early on instead highlighted endemic issues.

Hosting the Commonwealth Games was supposed to be India's chance to show the world that it had left behind the old stereotypes of an economy blighted by corruption and political interference.

Sadly for them their preparations for the Delhi Games have shown that staging these events do have a potentially damaging downside.

Rather than beaming images of gleaming stadiums and happy athletes producing world class sport the last 24 hours have reminded India that the 24 hour modern media culture has a nasty downside. Get it right and the world sits back and applauds. Get it wrong and your failings are transmitted to the globe's rolling news networks.

Delhi learning downside of hosting Games
September 22, 2010

Sochi's Building Boom

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, have spurred a building boom in the surrounding area, with work going on virtually around the clock.

Proof of the positive results of the discussions of Sochi’s investment attractiveness was quite around the corner. Even though it’s more than three years to go before the start of the Winter Olympic Games-2014, the city and the nearby territory is dotted with construction sites. Contractors work day and night, and the frames of some of huge constructions to be commissioned already next year and in 2012 look quite impressive. The region has made an emphasis on Sochi’s charm as a Black Sea resort city as well as development of its infrastructure and transport.

“Sochi has always been an investor’s attraction and it remains such especially now that we are getting ready for the Winter Olympic Games. With the amount of attention our government pays to this project, I think investors can be sure of tomorrow,” said Sochi’s Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov.

Round-the-Clock construction goes on in Sochi
The Voice of Russia
September 21, 2010

London Worries About East End Legacy of 'Middle Class Ghettos'

Without proper planning, redevelopment in London's East End for the Olympics could create a middle class ghetto after the event, warns the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s design head, Ricky Burdett.

Speaking during a public debate on the Olympic Park after 2012, Burdett warned that 30 years of investment in east London had done little to raise its socio-economic profile and that unless the Olympic Park was stitched into its setting, little would change beyond the park’s perimeter.

He said: “I am reminded by major urban developments of the last 60 years that have become nightmares that any large-scale intervention like this could do something very negative.

“The worst thing it could do is create a massive ghetto of people who are different from those who are there.”

Ricky Burdett warns against Olympic middle-class ghetto
Building Design
October 11, 2010

Qatar Tries to Boost 2022 Bid With Solar-Powered Stadium

As part of its bid to host the 2022 World Cup, the middle eastern country of Qatar has unveiled plans for a solar-powered stadium.

Revealed at the ‘Leaders in Football’ conference in London this week, the stadium incorporates environmentally friendly cooling technologies to keep spectators and players cool in Doha’s extreme heat. The concave profile of the stadium’s outer enclosure incorporates a system of operable louvers, while the central section of the saddle-form roof can be extended or retracted to allow the pitch to be open to the sky or fully covered.

Encircled by a reflective pool of water, spectators enter the stadium via six bridges that cross the “moat.” To give the impression of floating above the concrete seating bowl, the roof is discreetly supported by a ring of arching columns.

Solar-powered stadium to bolster Qatar’s bid for 2022 World Cup
October 7, 2010

Games Head Says Sochi Olympics Might Not Need Public Funding

Olympics officials in Russia have claimed that the 2014 Olympics in Sochi may not need any public funding.

Sponsorship revenues are already over $1.0 billion, making Sochi by far the most successful winter Games organising committee in that respect, and even look likely to surpass Beijing's $1.2 billion domestic sponsorship revenue mark for its much bigger 2008 summer Games.

"It is true we have exceeded our (sponsorship) plans but we have now established new plans," [Games chief Dmitiry] Chernyshenko told Reuters a day before the start of an International Olympic Committee (IOC) coordination commission visit to monitor progress.

INTERVIEW-Olympics-Sochi may not need public funds - Games chief
October 11, 2010

New American Football Stadium Near L.A. Has Eyes on World Cup Duties

Designers of a proposed NFL football stadium in the city of Industry, California, have announced plans to build the stadium to FIFA specifications to enable it to play host to World Cup matches should the U.S> win its bid for the 2022 tournament.

FIFA requires a World Cup field be 75 yards wide, so Majestic Realty Co.'s adjustments are to ensure the facility meets soccer Switzerland-based governing body's specifications, and principal architect Dan Meis told the Associated Press that the plans can be further altered to meet any additional guidelines FIFA might set before the 2018 or 2022 World Cups.

"Because we’re building a new stadium, we could incorporate anything FIFA could want," Meis said.

NFL stadiums with World Cup in mind? Wise