Vol 47 No 15 AUGUST 12 - 18, 2004
REVISED PLANS FOR THE 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES
NEW POOL AND ICE SKATING RINK PLANNED FOR QUEENS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding and NYC2012 Founder Daniel L. Doctoroff revealed an adjusted and final “Olympic X” venue plan for the City’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. The amended venue plan consists of three venue clusters that add efficiency and convenience to the original plan and will be the basis for New York’s bid book submission due to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on November 15, 2004. In addition, the Mayor announced plans to finalize the design and commence construction of the Flushing Pool located within Flushing Meadow Corona Park, highlighting how New York’s Olympic bid can be used to expedite the completion of recreational and infrastructure projects citywide. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Olympian Donna de Varona (Swimming; 1960, 1964, 2 Gold), and Department of Parks & Recreation Adrian Benepe joined the Mayor for the announcement at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
“We are proud of this tremendous venue plan that will strengthen our bid for the Olympic Games in 2012 and enrich the legacy that the Games will leave for our City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The Olympic Games would have an economic impact of $12 billion and create an estimated 135,000 jobs. These milestones help us to expedite recreational and infrastructure projects Citywide, as we have with the Flushing Pool that has remained stalled for too long. Construction on this facility will commence in January, pushing ahead one of the borough’s highest priority recreation projects. There are other projects in all five boroughs that will benefit from this process, and the Games will spur the creation and improvement of over 600 acres of parkland and leaving behind new recreational facilities and improved infrastructure throughout this City.”
“Our revised venue plan responds to the concerns of the IOC and has dramatically improved New York City’s bid,” said Deputy Mayor Doctoroff. “Every venue will have a striking post-Olympic benefit for New Yorkers and athletic federations worldwide. In addition to the clusters, New York has added a world-class design for the Olympic Village and new multi-use facilities in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The proposed plan for the Paralympic Games will also make an incredible contribution to sport venues for disabled athletes and spectators.”
NYC2012’s final plan includes three venue clusters, recognizing the important feedback they received from the review of a questionnaire by the IOC in May after New York was named a Candidate City. The improved plan takes advantage of the planned Frank Gehry-designed Atlantic Yards Arena in Brooklyn, and a velodrome and multi-use sports facility near Macombs Dam Park in the Bronx. The aquatics venue was moved to the Williamsburg waterfront to allow for swimming and diving to be held in separate arenas within the same complex to meet a new requirement by FINA, the international governing body for aquatics. Lastly, the amended plan includes the Olympic Village redesigned by the architectural firm Morphosis which adds four times the number of low-rise apartments. The Olympic Village is located in the center of the X, directly across the East River from the United Nations.
The three venue clusters in the plan are:Olympic Square at Hudson Yards on the Far West Side of Manhattan consists of athletics (track and field), and the Opening and Closing ceremonies at the Olympic Stadium, fencing, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling at the Javits Center, and basketball at Madison Square Garden.Olympic Park, located at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, consists of archery, rowing, slalom and whitewater canoeing, tennis and water polo in the new Flushing Pool.Olympic River, straddling the Harlem River in The Bronx and Manhattan, consists of baseball, boxing, track cycling and badminton.Highlights of some of the new venues in the plan are:Track cycling and badminton will be held at a new 5,000-plus seat velodrome and multi-use sport facility (seating up to 10,000 for sports such as badminton) designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Associates, near Yankee Stadium (baseball) and the 369th Regiment Armory (boxing) across the river in Manhattan, creating a new venue cluster. The previous velodrome in Queensbridge was moved as the owner of the site, Silvercup Studios, is proceeding with other plans for that location. All gymnastics competitions (artistic/trampoline and rhythmic) will now take place at the proposed Atlantic Yards Arena, future home of the National Basketball Association’s Nets. Previously, artistic/trampoline was slated for Madison Square Garden and rhythmic at the 369th Regiment Armory. The Aquatics Center – home to swimming, synchronized swimming, diving and water polo finals – moves to the Williamsburg waterfront alongside beach volleyball and closer to the Olympic Village. The center moves from Astoria Pool due to new criteria requiring the Swimming and Diving pools be separated. The new, expanded facility could not be accommodated in Astoria Park.
Additional venue changes include:Water polo (except finals) is now slated for the new Flushing Pool and archery also moves into Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.All boxing contests (preliminaries and finals) will now be held at the 369th Regiment Armory.Basketball moves to Madison Square Garden.Indoor volleyball will now take place at Continental Airlines Arena.
“The Olympic Games represent the epitome of athletic competition,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “With these new venue clusters, we will enhance the City’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. The Queens venues, where archery, water polo, rowing, canoeing and other events will be held, represent an investment of almost $2 billion. Securing the 2012 Games will also push a number of capital projects in Queens forward, and long after the Olympics leave, the improvements in Flushing Meadows and elsewhere will endure for the enjoyment and benefit of all our residents for years to come.”
“I anticipate a glorious and exciting day when the doors to the velodrome Olympic facility along the river opens and Bronx cheers will be extended to all the world’s athletes,” said Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr.
“Who would have dreamed, even 10 years ago, that Brooklyn would be considered to host the gymnastic competition, one of the Olympics’ most popular sports, at our new arena whose major tenant will restore a national sports franchise to Brooklyn - the future Brooklyn Nets,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “And how sweet it is that Williamsburg is slated to receive a premier Olympic aquatic center that will enhance the beauty of the waterfront and benefit Brooklyn families for years to come.”Construction of the Flushing PoolAs part of today’s announcement the Mayor outlined that the City’s Economic Development Corporation had hired a team consisting of Bovis Construction and Gary Handel & Associates, and Hom and Goldman Architects to finalize facility design and construct the Flushing Pool. Parks & Recreation’s designs for the new Flushing Pool include approximately 1,500 pool-side seats and 400 seats at the skating rink. The 50-meter, Olympic-size pool will be the first of its size built in New York City in over 30 years. If New York City should be fortunate enough to host the Olympic Games in 2012, the facility is designed so that it can temporarily accommodate 5,000 spectators. Construction on the pool is slated to begin early next year and should be completed by 2007. $40 million has been allocated for Fiscal Years ’05 and ’06 for the project by the Mayor and Borough President.
“These venue changes give us a renewed impetus for the improvement of infrastructure within New York City’s parks,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “We are especially excited that Flushing Meadows Corona Park will be home to one of the three sport clusters. It’s a park rich in history and resources, and the 2012 Olympic Games will facilitate our efforts to the make it a world-class facility once again.”
New York is among five cities vying to host the Olympic Games in 2012. Joining New York are London, Madrid, Moscow and Paris. The IOC will select a Host City for the 2012 Games on July 6, 2005, in Singapore.