The organising committee for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games has proposed a number of changes to its venue plan as it looks to cut costs amid COVID-19.
Paris 2024 has identified three areas of review to optimise its organisation: the number of venues, the level of services provided during the Games, and non-event locations. Paris 2024’s board of directors yesterday (Wednesday) agreed new proposals on the venue plan.
The board of directors has agreed to cut two temporary venues in the shape of the Aquatics Stadium and the Le Bourget Arena. As a result, swimming and water polo finals will be held at the existing Paris La Défense Arena, with volleyball events to take place at another existing venue.
The Stade Jean-Bouin will no longer be used, meaning that rugby sevens matches will be moved to the Stade de France (pictured). Lille’s Stade Pierre-Mauroy will also be used as a host venue under the new proposals.
The board of directors have also proposed that the venue at Place de la Concorde be optimised for configuration, while the Games’ climbing site has been transferred to Le Bourget. A permanent legacy site will also be created following discussions with the relevant parties.
Additionally, the number of football stadiums will be reduced from eight to seven. The venue at Colline d’Elancourt has also been confirmed for mountain bike cycling events.
It has also been proposed that the Paralympic Games venue concept will be optimised by applying the revised Olympics concept. All decisions are subject to definitive approval from international federations, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee.
According to the AFP news agency, the venue changes will reduce the Paris 2024 budget by as much as €150m (£137m/$176m), with other savings in areas such as transport reportedly set to save the organising committee as much as €400m. Paris 2024 said the changes have been made to create “room for manoeuvre” as it seeks to control costs and deliver the Games within the initial €3.8bn budget.
The revised concept will seek to bolster the central role the Seine-Saint-Denis neighbourhood will play during the Games. While Seine-Saint-Denis will still host the same number of events, it will no longer require the use of two temporary venues, which, according to Paris 2024, will “add nothing in terms of legacy”.
Seine-Saint-Denis will host the athletes’ and media villages, which will be transformed into housing post-Games. Athletics events will also be held in Seine-Saint-Denis and Paris 2024 will base its headquarters in the neighbourhood.