Roundup: Madrid's bidding failure certain to have impact on Spanish sport
Updated: 2013-09-10 17:13:00
MADRID, September 10 (Xinhua) -- The failure of the Madrid's bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games is certain to have an impact on Spanish sport.
The city may have much of the infrastructure to host the Games already in place, but some key elements still have a great deal of work to be carried out. For example the aquatic center, despite being described as complete, is currently just a hold in the ground surrounded by a concrete skeleton.
Meanwhile the 'Olympic Stadium' may have a metro station bearing that very name, but the fact is that so far, just one of the four stands has been erected and that stand is far from completion.
Although it is uncertain just how much the failure of the Madrid bid will affect the construction of the aquatic center (the Madrid local authority will have to pay 4 million euros compensation to the constructor if work is stopped), work on the Olympic Stadium will have to proceed, given that it will be the new home of Atletico Madrid football club.
The club and local authority reached agreement in 2008 that Atletico would leave their Vicente Calderon Stadium to move to the Olympic Stadium and despite the Olympic setback, Atletico's Director General Miguel Angel Gil expects work to continue as normal.
The decision by the International Olympic Committee, "is a sad one for Spaniards, residents of Madrid and above all, those who formed part of the bid, who had put so many hopes into it, and the decision has directly affect us given that the Olympic Games would have been celebrated in our stadium and would have given added value to the Atletico Madrid name," lamented Gil.
However, Gil insisted that Atletico would continue with their plans to move to the new stadium in three years.
"That is not affected at all. The construction is planned to be completed at the same date as before and it will be finished during the 2015-2016 season. Our plans are carrying on and we hope that soon we will be able to enjoy the ground," he continued, adding that should Madrid present a fourth consecutive bid for the 2024 Games, something which for the moment appears unlikely, "it would still be the stadium where the athletics as well as the opening and closing ceremonies would be held."
Meanwhile, club president, Enrique Cerezo, who was in Buenos Aires with the Madrid 2020 bid, added his voice to that of Gil.
"If we can, we will try and speed up the construction of the stadium. Its reform didn't depend on us getting the Olympics anyhow," he explained.