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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid