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Olympic venues to be opened for public use
By Liu Jie (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-26 06:35

During Beijing's 2008 Olympic Games you could take your family to watch swimming, diving and water polo events at Water Square, the pool complex which is to play venue to these competitions.

But soon after the closing ceremony in the summer of 2008, you will also be able to take a dip in the Olympic waters, attend a fitness class or even watch a movie at the site, also called the National Swimming Centre.

Li Baowei, deputy director of the Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau, yesterday explained how facilities would be put to use after the Games and revealed that all 31 Olympic gym and stadium projects are open to partnership with domestic and overseas investors.

"We are currently focusing on the sourcing of raw materials, facilities and sports articles as well as seeking experienced post-Olympics operators and partners at home and abroad," Li said yesterday at a press conference to promote the 2005 Beijing International Stadium Facilities and Sports Articles Exhibition and Sourcing Fair, to be held July 15-17.

The Beijing Development and Planning Committee (BDPC) has released detailed schemes for 31 projects on the website www.bjoe.gov.cn, which was officially launched on April 18.

"The aquatic entertainment centre is expected to receive nearly 5,000 visitors every day," said Kang Wei, deputy general manager of Beijing State-owned Assets Management Co Ltd and a principal mover in the project.

But it is not just Water Square which will be made available to the public - other venues, too, can be used or bought.

Beijing Wukesong Cultural and Sports Centre, which will host basketball and baseball, will later integrate culture, sports and commercial activity.

The Olympic Village, with residential, commercial and recreation facilities, will be transformed into a low-density prime residential community.

Chai Xiaozhong, deputy director of BDPC stressed that while meeting the stringent requirements of the Games, "we should carefully consider how to make full use of the facilities afterwards."

A group of Chinese and foreign business representatives and experts offered their suggestions.

"Simpler is better, thus, the functions, rather than appearance, should be highlighted," said Jordi Vallverdu, adviser to the current CEO and former managing director of Barcelona Promocio, the company responsible for the maintenance, management and promotion of the main Olympic venues in Barcelona.

(China Daily 04/26/2005 page2)

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