What will happen to Central American and Caribbean Games’s new constructions?

Many venues have been abandoned. Will the same thing happen in Barranquilla?

What will happen to Central American and Caribbean Games’s new constructions?

The XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla culminated and it is time to analyze, as it happens in any international sporting event, what will happen with the scenarios built for the event. These need utility to sustain themselves over time, always thinking about the population that houses them.

In the specific case of Barranquilla, its mayor, Alejandro Char, gave statements that were published by El Tiempo. "Our purpose with the new scenarios is that they have permanence and sustainability over time so that they become seedbeds where our youth and children give us more sporting triumphs and leave the name of Barranquilla on high".

Leer en español: ¿Se sostendrán en el tiempo las construcciones deportivas de Barranquilla 2018?

El Tiempo added that a total of 185 square kilometers of public space were recovered, in which 2,500 trees were planted and 1,400 installed. Some of these are Avenida del Río (marathon and the march), Puerta de Oro fairgrounds (gymnastics, table tennis and beach volleyball), and Plaza de la Paz while (3x3 basketball).

An Olympic vision

Alberto Galvis, communications director of the Colombian Olympic Committee (COC), spoke exclusively for LatinAmerican Post, and offered his opinion on what should be done in Barranquilla to avoid the collapse of buildings constructed for Central Americans.

The leader was optimistic but cautious. "How do you not lose these scenarios? Well, in the first instance giving a useful use in the region, but that must be linked to a financing plan to host new sporting events".

Galvis went on to affirm that "Santa Marta was a very good example, also Barranquilla, which also has an advantage because it is a big commitment with the government so that the scenarios are not lost because there are resources destined for those scenarios in the time after the completion of a sporting event".

When compared with examples of Olympic Games, Galvis added "it is not the same to organize some scenarios for this type of events, that for some national games, the economic exchange for maintenance must be much greater". Finally, he placed Medellin in Colombia as an example, as a model city that maintains its sports infrastructures.

LatinAmerican Post recalls some figures and not very positive facts left by several venues of the Olympic Games, as well as the Copa América Venezuela 2007, and the National Games of Ibagué in 2015, not to mention other examples such as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Historical cases

Euronews did a meticulous job of compiling what was left by the sports facilities of several Olympic Games, years after having been made and that we share in summary below.

  • Olympic Games of Montreal 1976. It turned out a high deficit that could be paid 30 years later, ruined the public finances. The Olympic stadium carries very high maintenance costs and has little use. Finally, what it is now a botanical garden was at that time a Velodrome.
  • Olympic Winter Games Sarajevo 1984. A devastating example. During the Bosnian War, the bobsleigh tracks were used as trenches for Serb snipers. The seats of Zetra Hall, the scene of high-speed skating became coffins, and the building in a morgue.
  • Olympic Games Athens 2004. Huge failure. Today, most venues are closed or abandoned. The badminton court no longer exists and is now a theater. The Olympic Stadium is the seat of the Athens AEK, while the indoor stadium is regularly used by the Panathinaikos basketball team. Only the Olympic pool, the velodrome, and the tennis courts were left to train while the baseball, softball and beach volleyball venues were abandoned.

Also read: The reason why Cuba and Mexico are the only ones winning the Central American Games

Modern examples

Mbadeporte made a similar analysis, a little more updated and referred to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the 2014 Brazil World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Beijing 2008 cost 26 billion euros and became the most expensive history, until the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The baseball field, the velodrome, and even the Wukesong Basketball have been abandoned or used for other purposes.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil exceeded in investment the World Cups of Germany and South Africa together. Unjustifiable, especially with the Manaus stadium, which cost 600 million dollars even though everyone knew it would not be used again. Why? There is no football tradition in that area, nor a professional team in the first or second division.

With regard to Rio 2016, the estimate speaks of an investment of 12 billion dollars added to the non-compliance of some links of the project. The most serious is the state in which the bay (seat of the Vela) is located, very polluted despite being defined as one of the best examples of global environmental regeneration.

Copa América Venezuela 2007

ElEstimulo.com highlights the case of the José Encarnación 'Pachencho' Romero stadium. This portal spoke of official figures destined to the extension and to some modifications realized in that enclosure that had a cost of 30 billions of bolivars, about 13.953.488 million dollars for that time.

The aforementioned stadium, located in Maracaibo, hosted the final of the Copa América 2007 but only thanks to the payment of a million dollars that the mayor Giancarlo Di Martino made to the Conmebol train, and to the same Joseph Blatter, former president of the FIFA.

In 2013, the 'Pachencho' not only had structural problems but also administration. Today, it is far from being a professional stadium.

National Games Ibagué 2015

Another resounding and shameful case occurred in Ibagué, Colombia. This Colombian city was the headquarters of the XX National Games, for which 143 billion pesos were allocated, according to data provided by Semana.

Three years later, in the aforementioned city there are no swimming pools, neither a major Coliseum nor tennis courts. The scenarios where constructions such as the Tejo Coliseum or the BMX track began are destined to disappear.

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from “¿Se sostendrán en el tiempo las construcciones deportivas de Barranquilla 2018?”

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