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Whats the future of Post-Athens Stadiums

 
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Egan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:15 am    Post subject: Whats the future of Post-Athens Stadiums Reply with quote

Hey guys

I don't know if you will remember me, but I am from www.austadiums.com/forum site and were we had a bit of a conflict from the fact we believed what the media had said. I read something in our local media about the drastic case of the stadiums in Athens after the Olympics and instead of making accusations wanted to get it from the Horses mouth.

They were reporting damage from the quick construction of the facilities at the games, and that the stadiums have basically not been used since the games.

Any true first hand knowledge will be greatly appreciated, have learnt from past mistakes Wink

Hello to all I met in different sentiment 6 months ago Smile
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marin
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Egan,

The quick answer to your question, is that up to now, some 7 months down the line after the Olympics, nothing has been done to integrate and use those stadia correctly. This in my opinion is due to several reasons but objectively one would have to cite the inability of a fairly new government voted in just before the Olympics to think ahead and provide a "big picture" plan which should have been implemented immediately after the games.
There are other reasons as well mainly the huge bureaucracy that our nation is always grappling with and lack of funds to implement any plans.

However, there is now some movement brought about mainly by the frustration of the people that are fed up watching state of the art stadia built with their hard earned money sitting idly. The main Olympic Stadium is now being used by one of the big Athens Football Clubs (AEK) as their home ground and although I haven't been to one of their games it seems that they are doing a good job at injecting money and keeping it alive. Having said that this is only a temporary solution as the particular club should be moving to a new purpose build home ground within the next 3 years. The whole Olympic Complex in this area which comprises the aquatic Centre, the velodrome and the huge indoor arena along with Calatrava's landscaping will probably remain as is and possibly open up as a park with a small entrance fee to help wlong with its maintainance budget.

The complex at Goudi where Badminton and modern Pentathlon took place is being converted as we speak to accomodate the famous musical Cats which is going to be staged there for a couple of months but this is by no means again a permenant solution.

The Equastrian Centre seems to have the best plan since it has become the horse racing ground of Athens and this seems to be a profitable solution. The huge cross-country arena is earmarked to become a golf course and I think that a foreign consortium is building a five star hotel to go with it. The idea being that there are no 18 hole golf courses in Greece and Athens and this is a perfect area to bring in revenue from Golf tourism.

Most companies though are interested in the seaside venues and we are awaiting for the new legislation promised within the next couple of months which will show us what the government has planned for those ones.

The big problems remain the boxing and weightlifting arenas which are in "working class" parts of the town, and therefore not immediatly attractive to any investor. I have absolutely no idea of what is to become of them.

Also the Schinias rowing centre cannot really be commercially exploited since the whole area has been designated as a bird and wetland sanctuary. So again no idea of how we are going to pay for its upkeep and what is to become of it.

The Olympic village was the only construction that we knew well beforehand of its fate after the Olympics and it has already changed hands and been transferred to the organisation that allocates low cost housing for those who cannot afford house market prices. I think that families have already moved in the houses and this seems to be the one true success story of how to use Olympic projects after the games.

I have to say also that there is no damage due to "quick" or shoddy construction, however there has been normal wear and tear due to the unacceptable in my view lack of proper maintainance and security after the games. Hopefully the news are going to be better in the months to come and we will be able to enjoy the arenas built with money out of our own taxes.

I hope I answered some of your questions and I will pass them on to others in this forum that might be better informed than I.

G'day to all of you down under!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks mate, it sounds a lot more positive then what I read before...they were harping on about a World Championship Event not being played at the Olympics Venue due to it being flooded and cracks in it...I will try to find the article.

Good to know their is some plans for the stadiums in Athens...they were great venues.
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Egan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found the article...would appreciate comments on these allegations...it seemed a little to pessimistic to agree with.



Athens venues lay in ruins
From Karolos Grohmann in Athens
March 7, 2005

WHEN Greece hosted the Balkan indoor athletics championships two weeks ago, the overwhelmingly obvious location should have been one of many state-of-the-art indoor facilities built for last year's Athens Olympics.

Right? Wrong, actually.

The championships were held at a second-rate hall with a leaky roof in Peania, half an hour's drive from the capital.

The out-of-town and out-of-sight venue choice illustrates the sorry legacy of the Athens Olympics, hailed at the time both at home and abroad as a triumph.

Almost none of the spectacular 36 purpose-built stadiums, which cost more than three billion euros ($3.96 billion), have been used again.

Most have remained shut since last September while ministries and local authorities squabble over ownership and the government ponders their post-Olympic use.

Even the vast main Olympic complex with its surrounding parks and sports fields is closed to the public.

Built in record time and at a cost well over the estimates, dozens of venues and other works are now facing the consequences of what critics say was ill-planned and hasty work.

With no ownership or management plan in place, there is no real maintenance to secure the venues from decay.

Broken glass at the Galatsi indoor arena, serious drainage problems on the marathon route, leaking windows at the indoor hall of the main Olympic complex and damage to the Peace and Friendship stadium are only some of the problems the government has to tackle.

The Hellinikon sports complex, the Games' second biggest site, is out of bounds as local mayors oppose the government's plan for more construction on the vast area of the former airport that was to become the capital's biggest park.

Apart from the canoe and kayak course, which may be turned into a water park, the future of Hellinikon, which includes indoor halls, stadiums and playing fields, is uncertain.

While some venues, including the Faliron taekwondo sports complex and the Nikea weightlifting hall, have occasionally been used for conferences or concerts, most are closed to the public.

Even the newly built Agios Kosmas sailing centre, meant to be turned into a 1,170-berth marina, shows signs of abandonment despite the Greek sailing federation's repeated requests to move on to the site permanently.

"The government's delay in finding post-Olympic uses for the sports venues is putting a heavy economic burden on the national economy," the respected Kathimerini newspaper wrote recently.

Annual maintenance estimates hover around 90 million euros. "In the meantime the Olympic projects are left to decay," Kathimerini said.

Games organisers did not want to go on the record regarding the current state of the venues, but privately some said they were unhappy.

"You know we worked very hard to get them ready. Citizens paid a lot of money for them and it is a shame to see them in such a sorry state," a former top Games official said.

It is not only sports venues that have yet to yield a profit or a post-Olympic use.

A tram line, built at a cost of more than 300 million euros and seen as the saviour of the traffic-clogged capital's transport system, has not caught on with the public because of the snail's pace at which it runs and what commuters say are too frequent stops.

Authorities said this week that only 50,000 of an initial target of 100,000 passengers took the tram daily.

One of the city's architectural landmarks for the Games, a pedestrian bridge designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who also built the stunning roof over the Olympic stadium, has been shut for more than a month because of structural problems, only eight months after it was inaugurated.

In what could be a salutary warning for future Olympic host nations, the government admitted two weeks ago it had failed to draw up a post-Olympics usage plan.

It had focused only on getting venues and infrastructure works ready after wasting three years of preparations in the late 1990s.

"Olympic cities usually plan post-Olympics use before and during the Games," said deputy Culture Minister Fani Petralia, who was the government's top Olympics official.

"But we did not have a reliable post-Olympics plan in Greece. Many venues were designed without their post-Olympic use in mind," said Petralia, whose conservative government came to power five months before the August 2004 Games.

Greece paid more than nine billion euros, double what had been forecast, to make Athens the most expensive Olympics ever and the lament about their cost is set to be still going on when the next summer Games are held in 2008 in Beijing.
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marin
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Egan wrote:

The Hellinikon sports complex, the Games' second biggest site, is out of bounds as local mayors oppose the government's plan for more construction on the vast area of the former airport that was to become the capital's biggest park.

Apart from the canoe and kayak course, which may be turned into a water park, the future of Hellinikon, which includes indoor halls, stadiums and playing fields, is uncertain.

While some venues, including the Faliron taekwondo sports complex and the Nikea weightlifting hall, have occasionally been used for conferences or concerts, most are closed to the public.

Even the newly built Agios Kosmas sailing centre, meant to be turned into a 1,170-berth marina, shows signs of abandonment despite the Greek sailing federation's repeated requests to move on to the site permanently.

It is not only sports venues that have yet to yield a profit or a post-Olympic use.

A tram line, built at a cost of more than 300 million euros and seen as the saviour of the traffic-clogged capital's transport system, has not caught on with the public because of the snail's pace at which it runs and what commuters say are too frequent stops.

Authorities said this week that only 50,000 of an initial target of 100,000 passengers took the tram daily.



As almost always, it is a little bit difficult to find the truth between the sensationalist media and the tight lipped officials. I am sure it resides somewhere in the middle. The particular points raised in this article are things that have been discussed again and again here in Greece and some are valid while others are not.

For example, as I mentioned before, the Hellinikon Complex which resides by the sea (prime real estate land) is indeed sitting idly for now but no-one is particularly worried that it will be left derelict and unused. On the contrary we know for a fact that the Kanoe-Cayak venue is going to be commercially exploited and the main delay for the whole area is due to its advantageous position. There are many consortia jumping at the bit to exploit the area while the local authorities want to have a mild form of development, with the rest of the area left as a huge park. The government is trying to reconcile the need for huge influx of funds from the private sector with a "green" face that has to be presented to the voters of that area. I foresee further delays there but I am not at all pesimistic for the future of that complex.

The same goes for the Agios Kosmas sailing complex. Again prime real estate section of the beach which could be auctioned off to the highest bidder for further development so that it can receive yaghts and so forth. Again fiercely contested by the local authorities.

Finally a quick word on the Tram lines. Not the greatest success story, granted, but not very bleak either. It is slowly gaining ground in the mind of the Athenians, who are only now starting to realise that it cannot compete with the fast and efficient Metro or Suburban railway because it was not built for the same puproses. It was built to link some seaside suburbs at a lower cost than the Metro and it was never meant to transport you to the other side of the city. There is a perfectly good Metro for that. It is slowly dawning upon the average Athenian that it should compete with the local bus network and I am sure it needs more time for people to get accustomed to it.


All in all I think it is far too early to be judging the Tram for example. Just imagine that last year we did not HAVE a tram let alone be in a position to quote figures like 50,000 passengers daily. The same goes for other infrastructure projects such as the new 8 lane ring road, the airport and the telecommunication systems upgrade that the Olympics left us with. Also I haven't seen anyone talking about our Metro system which is used daily by hundreds of thousands, is sparkling clean and efficient and an exhibition of modern and ancient art awaits you in every station.

On the other hand the cavalier attitude towards forward planning for certain "problematic" venues by the government has left me personally with an enormous desire to start screaming at them at any opportunity!
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exitmusician
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tram system was never meant to form the backbone of the city's transport system but was planned as an ancillary mode operating as a feeder to the Metro and bus systems. Moreover, a tram system with only two lines cannot yet be considered a system in itself, let alone be able to generate a shift in transport usage patterns. I believe that fifty thousands passengers a day is a satisfactory achievement given the embryonic stage of its development. As the system will expand with more lines being built (there are several decisions for expansion and even more plans for the future) and as the concept of multimodality will blend in the mindsets of commuters (Athenians were not - and still are not - very eager to use 2 or 3 transport modes instead of the private car) the tram will find its place within the integrated transport system.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Egan,

marin gave you the picture - I'll just try to codify the current situation of all Olympic facilities in bullets:

Olympic Stadium - Used by AEK Football Club
Olympic Sports Hall - Used by Panathinaikos Basketball CLub (& occasionally for concerts)
Olympic Aquatic Centre - Used by Panathinaikos Water Polo Team (& by numerous swimming amateur clubs for training)
Olympic Velodrome - Used by the Greek Cycling Federation for training and events
Olympic Tennis Center - Not decided yet
Galatsi Arena - Used by AEK Basketball Club
Goudi Olympic Complex - Indoor Hall used for "Cats" musical, outdoor facilities serve as training grounds for amateur clubs and the public
Ano Liossia Arena - To be turned into a cultural centre
Nikea Indoor Hall (weightlifting) - Occasionally used for conferences
Peristeri Indoor Hall - Currently being turned into a multisports centre
Schinias Rowing Centre - Not decided yet (will probably be turned into a natural park)
Markopoulo Shooting Centre - Not decided yet
Markopoulo Equastrian Centre - Partly used as Athens Race-course, other part to be developed for tourism (hotel and golf course)
Helliniko Arena - Not decided yet (occasionally used for concerts)
Helliniko Baseball, Softball & Hockey fields - Not decided yet
Helliniko Canoe Kayak Centre - To be turned into a waterpark
Agios Kosmas Olympic Sailing Centre - To be turned into a marina
Faliro Arena (Tae-kwon-do) - Used as a conference centre
Beach Volleyball Centre - Will continue to host beach volleyball and also serve as an open-air theater
Peace & Friendship Stadium - Used by Olympiakos Basketball Club (also hosted a european volleyball final-4 last week and also indoor athletics during the winter)
Karaiskaki Stadium - Used by Olympiakos Football Club
Kaftanzoglio Stadium - Used by Iraklis Football Club
Pancretan Stadium - Used by Ergotelis Football Club
Panpeloponnesian Stadium - Not decided yet
Panthessalian Stadium - Used by Niki Volou Football Club

Of course, the Panathenaic Stadium (used for archery and Marathon-run finish during the Olympics) and the ancient Stadium of Olympia (used for shot-put during the Olympics) were and will continue to be archaeological sites.
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Christos 7
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you can see (posted by Admin above) there are venues being used as we speak. Especially by club teams involved in various sports.


This article does nothing but bring back memories of last year, and the sensationalism of the media to degrade everything that was Athens....


In other words, BULLSHIT.


And then they wonder why we are not so fond of them?
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Christos 7
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to confirm:

Quote:
Almost none of the spectacular 36 purpose-built stadiums, which cost more than three billion euros ($3.96 billion), have been used again.



I must say, a big lack of research was done.....


Quote:
Even the vast main Olympic complex with its surrounding parks and sports fields is closed to the public.



How hard is it to know, that A.E.K. football club play there? How much research does that really take?


Quote:
Built in record time and at a cost well over the estimates, dozens of venues and other works are now facing the consequences of what critics say was ill-planned and hasty work.



What? Question Rolling Eyes


Quote:
With no ownership or management plan in place, there is no real maintenance to secure the venues from decay.



I actually won't argue with this, because BESIDES the venues being used, the ones not being used are wasting away..... (solutions being made though)


Quote:
Broken glass at the Galatsi indoor arena, serious drainage problems on the marathon route, leaking windows at the indoor hall of the main Olympic complex and damage to the Peace and Friendship stadium are only some of the problems the government has to tackle.



They completely contradict themselves here, as both the Indoor Hall (OAKA) and SEF were constructed years before the Olympics. So how a "rush" job can be the reason for poor construction of these venues I will never know.


Quote:
A tram line, built at a cost of more than 300 million euros and seen as the saviour of the traffic-clogged capital's transport system, has not caught on with the public because of the snail's pace at which it runs and what commuters say are too frequent stops.


Ha. The tram line was intended to save Athens congestion? Ti vlakia einai afto?


Quote:
One of the city's architectural landmarks for the Games, a pedestrian bridge designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who also built the stunning roof over the Olympic stadium, has been shut for more than a month because of structural problems, only eight months after it was inaugurated.


No argument there really. The flooring needed to be redone.



Anyway... like I have said, thank you for reminding us how much we really appreciate you (the media). Your lack of research and all around degrading articles really give the right view to the world. Not....
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need getting on the offencive there, Christos. Just speak of the facts and let our friend make his own mind on the amount of truth in this news article.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We should better try to solve the problem instead of using ridiculous arguments.. Rolling Eyes We are not referring to 1-2 venues.. We're talking about all the venues except the Olympic stadium and maybe 2-3 other venues.

So, not all the articles are provocative.. that's one of the attributes of the two governments. Therefore, I won't say anything to convince the foreigners that it's just "bad press" what we receive. We get what we deserve IMO.
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marin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all I did not try to defend or attack the article that Egan posted. I merely tried to explain as objectively as possible the situation regarding the various venues. Secondly this was an article by Karolos Grohmann who reports regularly for the english version of the Greek daily Kathimerini. Finally the media whether Greek, French, Australian or British tend to be sensational and going for the controversial angles. That is not necessarily a bad thing. When the press is relentless (with facts not fabrications) it motivates politicians and maybe that is exactly what we need here in Greece instead of the usual daily diet of sexual scandals and showbiz news.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admin wrote:
No need getting on the offencive there, Christos. Just speak of the facts and let our friend make his own mind on the amount of truth in this news article.



I don't think I was offensive. And I thought it was pretty clear my thoughts were projected towards the media, not our friend who opened this topic.

On the contrary I respect him for coming here and asking the questions to find out for himself. My problem is with those who did very little research and published an article only do demean yet again Athens - but I guess this should not suprise.


Quote:
We should better try to solve the problem instead of using ridiculous arguments.. We are not referring to 1-2 venues.. We're talking about all the venues except the Olympic stadium and maybe 2-3 other venues.

So, not all the articles are provocative.. that's one of the attributes of the two governments. Therefore, I won't say anything to convince the foreigners that it's just "bad press" what we receive. We get what we deserve IMO.



It's more than just OAKA and 2-3 other venues, but nevertheless, I am not blind. I see the problems involved. Had the article/media reported it as is, you would not see me complaining. But they didn't choose to do that did they?
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Christos 7
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ That was me above, forgot to log in.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all know that the media tend to exaggerate and expand a story to make it "spicy".. However they did not invent the problem.. It does exist and the goal we must attain is to solve it asap.
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Egan
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks very much guys, seems everything is going to plan.

Greece has some sensational venues that are still and will be utilised for the future...so the legacy of the games has not been lost...and it seems you do have a plan for your sports venues.

You have it right though, the media are still giving Athens the raw deal...but they know the argument will sell papers.

Thanks for all the informative information...you guys have been great...in regards to coming in and finding out for myself...well everyone learns from past mistakes Wink

Thanks very much
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