Post-2004 venue use unveiled

Several Olympic venues will be maintained after next year’s Games with the help of private funds, according to the plan presented yesterday by the government. Olympic installations were divided into four categories, according to which body will be responsible for their maintenance. The first includes the main Olympic Sports Complex (OAKA) – comprising the main Olympic Stadium, an indoor arena, indoor and outdoor swimming and diving pools, a cycling track, tennis courts, training tracks and accommodation for athletes – and the indoor Peace and Friendship Stadium, which will remain under the care of the General Secretariat for Sports. The Sailing Center at Aghios Cosmas and the International Broadcasting Center at Maroussi will be transferred to Hellenic Tourism Properties (ETA) which, in turn, will seek private second partners to manage the installations. Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said the valuation of the two installations will be completed soon. All the installations at the former Hellenikon Airport – the Indoor Arena and Fencing Hall, the Canoe and Kayak slalom center, and the baseball, softball and hockey stadiums – will be transferred to the authority managing the Hellenikon metropolitan park, when it is set up. The authority may cooperate with private developers. All other venues and installations, including the Main Press Center, will be transferred to the Olympic Properties Company, which will also seek funding from the private sector and local governments. General Secretary for the Olympics Costas Kartalis held that the maintenance of the venues other than OAKA and the Peace and Friendship Stadium will cost 40 million euros annually. But, he said, this is based on the prediction that operating costs will drop by 50 percent.