Venue News & Notes: In London, Taxpayers To The Rescue

The athletes’ village for the 2012 Olympics is costing the
city of London £1 billion — or more
appropriately, is costing the taxpayers of London £1 billion. A private financing deal
collapsed this week, which means that the government has nationalized the
project, calling for £650 million worth of public investment. The village,
which will hold 17,000 athletes and officials during the Games before being
sold off as 2,800 flats, is the second venue on the 500 acre Park in East London to be nationalized. The media centre, which
cost £355 million, also failed to attract private funding.

Taxpayers have been forced to save the £1 billion athletes’
village for the London Olympics after the collapse of a private-financing
deal. The Government’s latest rescue — the third in a year — amounts to a
nationalisation of the 2012 construction project and leaves just £585 million
for unforeseen expenses. Ministers approved a further injection yesterday of
£324 million into the village, bringing public investment in the project to
£650 million. The money will come from the Government’s contingency fund which
originally stood at £2.7 billion…

…UEFA chose four cities in Poland to host matches at the 2012 European
Championship this week but said tournament co-host Ukraine could
wind up with only two venues unless it makes major infrastructure improvements
in the next six months. UEFA said Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Poznan will host games, while reserve cities Krakow and Chorzow were both

…The Phoenix
Coyotes appear to be the first big league team to file for bankruptcy
protection in the middle of a long-term lease, and the move could have ramifications for other teams and cities when they try to
finance new buildings. In 2001, the Coyotes and the city of Glendale signed a 30-year
deal to pay off the $180 million building. In September 2003, about three
months before it opened, the team agreed to pay for $40 million in cost
overruns for $220 million in Arena construction costs…
Madrid’s new “world-class” tennis venue, the Magic
Box, opened its doors this week to the world’s leading tennis stars at the
Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open. According to a press release, the Magic Box has
been described as one of the most significant buildings in worldwide sports
architecture and “is a shining example of Madrid’s Olympic project” and 2016
Summer Games bid…

…For sale? For shame. That, in essence, was the message
the Coliseum’s top official sent to Sacramento
on Thursday in a news conference that blasted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to sell the historic stadium to raise cash amid the
state’s growing fiscal crisis. “Whoever made the decision to throw
this on the table five days before an election made a boneheaded
decision,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, president
of the Coliseum Commission.

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