News / Europe

Experts Worry Sochi Facilities Will Not Be Used After Olympics

Experts Worry Sochi Facilities Will Not Be Used After the Olympicsi
X
February 04, 2014 9:53 PM
For 17 days, the world’s attention will be on the Russian city of Sochi for the Winter Olympics. But what happens when the games are over and the athletes leave? Some experts fear the facilities, build at great expense, will go unused and fall into decay. Brian Allen reports.
Brian Allen
For 17 days, the world’s attention will be on the Russian city of Sochi for the Winter Olympics.  But what happens when the games are over and the athletes leave? Some experts fear the facilities, build at great expense, will go unused and fall into decay.

In a dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony fireworks explode over Fisht Olympic Stadium, one of seven brand new facilities for the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

But it’s what happens after the close of the games, that concerns Lisa Delpy Neirotti, a sports management professor at George Washington University.

“This is the first Winter Olympic games that has an Olympic park, where all seven venues were built specifically for the Olympic games in a specific area. And I do not think that is the best model, because there is just no use for, typically, seven big venues in a circle. It’s better to spread it out across the area.”

These games are estimated to cost Russia $50 billion. As the pricetag to host an Olympics skyrockets, Delpy Neirotti says proper planning is vital - especially after the games are over.

“It’s going to be a challenge to utilize all of those facilities [after the games]," she said.

The Beijing National Stadium and National Aquatics Center were the jewels of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Today, China struggles to draw visitors and events. The Bird’s Nest and Water Cube, as they were nicknamed, cost more than half a billion dollars to build.

In Greece, Athens’ Olympic park is abandoned, overrun with weeds, and closed to the public.

Even the London Olympics in 2012, which promised to revitalize the east end of the city, has had mixed results - says one man who lives nearby.

“It was like a building site while they were doing it. It was like a holiday park when it was on. And when they’re all gone, it’s like the circus has left town,” says Bob Sweeney, the CEO of DC2024, a group bidding to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Washington, D.C. 

He says the London games also perfected an existing concept: temporary facilities.

“Their basketball venue was a brilliant example of steel construction, high-quality interior, wrapped in plastic, and it was immediately taken down after the games. It was about a third of the cost of building a permanent construction project for the games,” he explained.

Sweeney promised temporary facilities would be used in the Washington bid.  Temporary venues and facilities that can be downsized after the games factor into many future Olympic bids.

Delpy Neirotti says that’s not the case in Sochi.

“In Sochi, the concern there is that it is a very small town, they put these seven facilities in one circle with not much else happening around them. Originally two of those facilities were going to be temporary and taken to a different location [after the games], but the plans changed,” she said.

She says she fears what will become of those facilities after the games.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: William from: USA
February 10, 2014 3:06 AM
Well it's Russias problem not ours... If they wanna throw money out the window which they've been known to do then let it be.


by: RDP
February 08, 2014 10:45 AM
It will be used... Fifa World Cup 2018 is gonna be in Sochi! and an F1 Grand Prix stop is gonna be there too! One of 19 races in the whole season... lots comin for Sochi... some experts...

In Response

by: Cara from: USA
February 09, 2014 10:37 AM
Nice! Two events on the list so far-- that should keep the site going.


by: Bruce Higging from: San Diego, CA, USA
February 04, 2014 7:37 PM
The cost of the Olympics is becoming burdensome to the host countries. Both the monetary cost and societal cost of building and maintaining an Olympic Village. Why not have a permanent Olympic site which is supported by all countries who compete? Facilities would be built, used regularly, without having to destroy villages to put up a stadium. When not hosting an Olympics they could be used for training, World Cups, etc.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid