Budapest releases images of proposed 2024 Olympic venue


Budapest 2024 Olympic venue

Budapest earlier this month released the images of its proposed 2024 Olympic Park cluster and the swimming and diving venue, which is being built for the 2017 World Championships.

The Olympic Stadium would be on the eastern bank of the Danube River. The swimming and diving venue will be in a different zone.

The capital of Hungary has just made it to the third and final phase of 2024 Olympics bidding. Only three cities worldwide are still in play. Budapest faces stiff competition from Los Angeles and Paris. International Olympic Committee members will vote to choose the host in September 2017.

“We are humbled and honoured, but also very excited as a city and a country, that Budapest has been selected by the IOC to continue with Paris and Los Angeles to the final stage of the 2024 bid process,” said Budapest’s committee president Balázs Fürjes.

Hungary owns the most Olympic medals of current nations that have never hosted an Olympics. It has bid for the Olympics several times and was last a finalist in 1960. Los Angeles and Paris published renderings in 2015 and early 2016.

According to a report, Budapest is still considered the underdog when matched against Los Angeles and Paris but the Hungarian vision is ambitious and has just received a major publicity boost as the proposed Olympic Stadium was presented.

First major figure is its capacity of 50,000 seats. If built, it would make it the smallest in decades but that’s in line with IOC’s amended regulations that no longer demand 80,000+ for the main venue. Besides, just like in the case of Rio de Janeiro, the Olympic Stadium would not host opening and closing ceremonies. For the second time in history, should Budapest win, these would be held at a football ground, the new Ferenc Puskas Stadium, the report says.

The report further adds that the renderings, regardless of their appeal with green boulevard wrapping the stadium, should only be considered as preliminary. Only if Budapest is awarded the games on September 13, 2017 will the actual design be drawn. Construction is scheduled to go on in 2020-2023 so there’s enough time to deliver a whole new design.

It also says that the budget estimate of $245.5 million (+$23.9 million of Olympics overlay cost) is an estimate that will surely change. While one would wish Budapest to stay within that budget, experience of previous Olympics suggests that actual price might prove significantly higher.

This, especially combined with the fact that Budapest will get a 67,155 football-specific stadium, raises concern over legacy use and maintenance cost and vision of a white elephant is looming. After all, no Budapest football team will use the 50,000-capacity giant and athletics alone would by no means bring the required revenue. As of now no solid legacy plan was revealed, concludes the report.

More insights on Hungary’s Olympic bid is expected to be revealed at the Coliseum Summit EUROPE, March 29-30, 2017 at Budapest.

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