Photo © IOC
Ninety-two percent of the permanent venues used for the Olympic Games in the 21st century and 85% of all permanent Olympic venues since 1896 are still in use, creating many benefits for residents of Olympic host cities and regions. This figure was revealed today by a new report from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), made public during the IOC Session held remotely from Lausanne.
The report – “Over 125 Years of Olympic Venues: Post-Games Use” – is the first-ever official inventory of post-Games use of 817 permanent Olympic venues and 106 temporary Olympic venues across 51 editions of the Games, Athens 1896 Olympics to PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The attached summary highlights the key findings of the research, while linking the past to the future. It shows that, of the 817 permanent sites, some 85% are still in use, a proportion which rises to 92% for the 206 permanent sites used on the 21st century.
The report was compiled through data collection and wide consultation with stakeholders, including venue owners/operators, legacy entities, city/regional governments and National Olympic Committees. It was carried out by KPMG, which is a third party, according to the ISAE 3000 auditing standard.
“This report is a very impressive testimony to the legacy left by the Olympic Games in the host cities and regions,” said Christophe Dubi, Executive Director of the IOC Olympic Games. “We are delighted to see that the overwhelming majority of Olympic venues continue to provide sporting competition and training opportunities at elite and local levels, while creating health and social benefits for former Olympic hosts. With the IOC’s emphasis on sustainability and legacy, lessons from the past are more important than ever. In examining the post-Games trajectory of Olympic venues, we wanted to better understand the likelihood of their continued use. This will help us make ensure that future Olympic Games continue to create even more lasting legacies for their hosts, meeting their long-term sustainability needs.
Of the 32 permanent venues used at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, for example, 75% remain in use. This percentage increases to 83% for Sapporo 1972 (out of 12 permanent venues used), 93% for Rio 2016 (out of 28 permanent venues used), 94% for Barcelona 1992 (out of 35 permanent venues used) and 100% for Vancouver 2010 ( at 12 permanent sites in use) and Salt Lake City 2002 (also at 12 permanent sites in use).
Other key findings of the report include:
- The percentage of new permanent venues (i.e. those built for the Games) and existing permanent venues (i.e. those that already existed when the host city/territory was selected to host the Games) that are still used is similar (87 and 83% respectively);
- 87% of complex sites, such as stadiums, Olympic villages, swimming pools, velodromes, ski jumps, sliding centers and ice hockey stadiums, are still in use;
- The proportion of temporary places has evolved over time. These represent 16 (early 20and century), 9 (mid 20and century), 7 (late 20and century) and 14% (21st century) of sites respectively.
Of the 15% of permanent sites not in use, the majority have not been built or demolished for various reasons: some have reached the end of their life, some have been destroyed in wartime or in accidents, while others have given way to new urban projects. development projects. Only 35 sites – or 4% of the 817 permanent sites – are closed, inactive or abandoned.
Long term benefits
In addition to generating data on venue usage after the Games, the report offered several other insights. These include the fact that Olympic venues provide longer-term benefits when suitable for multiple uses, including sporting and non-sporting events such as concerts and festivals.
- Used for the opening and closing ceremonies of Los Angeles 1932, the The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and track and field events when the city hosted the Olympics for the second time in 1984. The stadium has hosted two Super Bowls, several World Series baseball and four US Olympic tracks. and field trials. It will be used again when the Games return to Los Angeles in 2028.
- First used at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics and rebuilt after the civil war in the mid-1990s, the The Olympic Hall – later renamed the Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic Hall – continues to offer a wide range of sporting and cultural events. Local communities play up to 17 different sports here, from tennis and football to skating, bowling and pistol shooting. It also hosts concerts, trade shows and conferences.
- Host of the biathlon, cross-country skiing and Nordic combined competitions at Lillehammer 1994, the 27 km of cross-country ski trails and 9 km of biathlon trails at the Birkebeineren Ski Stadium are still widely used. They have hosted several events of the FIS Cross-Country World Cup, Biathlon World Cup and Nordic Combined World Cup. During the summer they are popular with walkers, joggers, mountain bikers and roller skiers.
- The London Aquatics Centre, which hosted swimming, diving, artistic swimming and modern pentathlon events at London 2012, was reconfigured after the Games to ensure its long-term use and sustainability. Today the site is widely used for community sport, recreation and recreation. More than 50 schools use it for lessons, 300 students benefit from it every day. A total of 3,500 swimmers and 600 divers are estimated to visit the Center each week.
Adapt to the future
In line with its strategic roadmap, Olympic Agenda 2020 and Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the IOC is changing its approach to hosting the Games so that Olympic venues can become even more sustainable in the future.
As part of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC now requires Olympic organizers to make the most of existing and temporary venues and only build new ones where there is a proven long-term need. New materials and technologies allow increased use of temporary installations, reducing emissions from construction, for example.
“Olympic hosts now have more flexibility to design the Games to fit the long-term development plans of a city or region,” said Marie Sallois, IOC Corporate and Sustainable Development Director. “Today, it is the Games that adapt to their host and not the other way around.”
The next editions of the Paris 2024 and Milano Cortina 2026 Games have reduced their planned construction so that the new venues will represent only 5 and 7% of the venues used, respectively. And with a wealth of world-class assets at its disposal, Los Angeles will host the Olympic Games in 2028 without building a single new permanent venue.
The International Olympic Committee is an international civil, non-governmental, non-profit organization made up of volunteers committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes over 90% of its revenue to the wider sports movement, meaning that every day the equivalent of US$4.2 million is donated to help athletes and sports organizations at all levels in the world.
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