Agreement reached on moving 2 London sports venues
An agreement on a change of venue for badminton and rhythmic
gymnastics that organizers of the 2012 London Olympics hope will
save tens of millions of dollars was reached after months of
Olympic organizers said Wednesday the two sports approved of a
move to Wembley Arena in north London. They were originally
scheduled to compete at a temporary venue in Greenwich near the
athletes’ village and Olympic Park in east London.
Due to the economic crisis, London organizers decided last year
to scrap the temporary facility in a move that will save about $28
“It is sensible during these difficult economic times to make
use of an existing and well-established facility,” Sports and
Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said. “Wembley Arena will be an
excellent venue for fans and participants of both sports.”
Officials for the two sports were concerned about the travel
time between the athletes’ village and Wembley, but organizers have
offered to house the athletes in hotels within walking distance of
the venue and find ways of shortening the journey.
A preliminary agreement on the move was announced last year, but
final approval required ratification by the two sports federations’
London organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe thanked the
federations for the change.
“We will now work through all the detailed arrangements with
them and Wembley Arena to put on first-class events,” he said.
“This is a big boost to north London, which will be a hub for the
London 2012 Olympics.”
The move also was welcomed by the International Olympic
“(The organizing committee) will be able to advance full steam
ahead with its planning,” said Denis Oswald, head of the IOC’s
coordination commission for London.