Paris 2024 presents an optimised Olympic Games venue concept
Paris 2024 reached a new milestone in its Games preparations yesterday when it presented an optimised sport and venue concept to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board, designed to enhance the Games experience for all participants, while strengthening the Games legacy for people and communities and securing the budget for the Games. Just three months after presenting the proposed Olympic Games venues to the IOC Coordination Commission, Paris 2024 yesterday presented its sport and venues concept to the IOC Executive Board, which was meeting in Buenos Aires (Argentina) ahead of the Forum “Olympism in action” and the Youth Olympic Games.
This concept is the product of detailed work, conducted in conjunction with the International Federations (IFs) and National Federations (NFs) of those sports affected by the optimisation process: badminton, basketball, judo, wrestling, swimming and volleyball.
PRINCIPLES OF THE PARIS 2024 CONCEPT
Work on the Paris 2024 Concept, which brought together all key Games stakeholders – the International Federations (IFs), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the sports movement, local authorities and public authorities – was guided by three core principles: delivering the best possible Games experience; strengthening legacy; and securing the budget. The parallel technical studies carried out by Paris 2024 on each of the venues, together with SOLIDEO on permanent infrastructure, and alongside work conducted by France’s General Inspectorate, have made it possible to optimise Paris 2024’s bid-phase plans. New opportunities, which have only arisen in the past few months, have now been incorporated in the Games concept, helping to make it even more spectacular, while also helping to limit the risk of potential budget overruns.
• Improving the overall concept to deliver the best possible Games experience for all participants (athletes, Olympic Family, spectators, TV viewers, media etc):
The ambition of Paris 2024 is to stage spectacular Games, placing sport and athletes at the heart of the city. As well as world-class existing facilities, the Paris 2024 Games plan will see sport take place against the backdrop of some of France’s most iconic landmarks and some of the world’s most popular sites, including: the Eiffel Tower (athletics, triathlon, open-water swimming), the Champs-Elysées (road cycling), the Grand Palais (fencing and taekwondo), the
Esplanade des Invalides (archery), the Champ de Mars (beach volleyball), the Palace of Versailles (equestrian) and the Marseille Marina (sailing).
The unprecedented staging of sport at these venues, both existing and temporary, will see Paris transformed into an extraordinary Olympic Park, enhanced by Games celebration sites along the banks of the Seine. The addition of the new Temporary Grand Palais venue further strengthens both the spectacular appeal and compactness of the concept.
Compactness and efficiency
Le Paris 2024 Games concept is characterised by its compactness: 80% of competition venues (representing a total of 22 sports) will be located within a 10 km radius of the future Olympic Village; 85% of athletes will stay within 30 minutes of their competition venue. Most of these venues are located in one of two zones: the first in the centre of Paris; and the other in Greater Paris, mostly located in Seine Saint-Denis (and also including the Yvelines, Seine-et-Marne and Hauts-de-Seine departments.)
• A stronger and even more useful legacy for local people and communities:
Work to define and secure the Games budget, carried out jointly with the French State and local authorities (and finalised in the co-funding agreement signed on 14th June in the presence of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe), was conducted alongside a process to secure the Games legacy for local people, particularly those in Seine Saint-Denis. The revised approach for the new Olympic Aquatics Centre offers the best of example of this reinforced legacy. The optimisation of the Games plan will lead to an increase in the number of legacy swimming pools compared to bid-phase plans. Including training facilities, a total of 12 pools will now be created (or renovated for Marville) through the Games in a department where half of all children leave primary school unable to swim.
• Maintaining the Games budget and limiting any risk of cost overruns:
Games in line with the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020
- The Paris 2024 Games plan is fully aligned with the IOC’s Agenda 2020 and “New Norm”, with 95% existing or temporary infrastructure. All new infrastructure to be constructed (ie: housing units forming part of the Olympic Village and Media Village in addition to the Aquatics Centre) will help meet the long-term needs of people in the communities concerned.
- The existing infrastructure to be used includes number of world-class sports venues, all with a track-record in staging major global events. They include: the Stade de France (athletics), Roland-Garros (tennis and boxing), the Paris Arena I (basketball), the Paris La Défense Arena (gymnastics), the Parc des Princes (football), the Golf National de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (golf),which last week hosted the prestigious Ryder Cup, Stade Jean-Bouin (rugby 7s) and the National Velodrome (track cycling).
- Only one competition venue to be built
- Only one new competition venue will be built for the Games – the Olympic Aquatics Centre.
Paris 2024 has optimised its bid-phase plans according to three guiding principles (Games experience, legacy and budget management).
The Aquatics Centre, a symbol of joined-up working:
The new approach for the Olympic Aquatics Centre (OAC), represents the major change to be proposed to the IOC Executive Board, alongside the use of the Temporary Grand Palais. It is designed to:
- Enhance the Games experience for all groups (athletes, spectators etc). All Aquatics event (apart from the 10 km Marathon) will now take place on a single site at Plaine Saulnier in Saint-Denis, next door to the Stade de France, forming a venue cluster of the two major sports of aquatics and athletics, situated just a few metres from the Athletes’ Village.
- Optimise the swimming legacy promised to the communities and residents of Seine-Saint-Denis.
- Bring concrete solutions to the risk of potential budget overruns identified in the General Inspectorate’s report.
A single venue complex to deliver an enhanced experience
All Paris 2024 Aquatics events (Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Diving), with the exception on the 10 km marathon, will be staged at the aquatics complex, whose Games-time configuration will feature five pools (two permanent; three temporary):
- A temporary 50m pool for the Olympic and Paralympic swimming events and the water-polo finals, with seating for 15,000 spectators; - A 50m pool, connected to a 25m pool, within a permanent structure that will accommodate 5,000 seated spectators at Games time (2,500 in legacy) and will host diving, synchronised swimming and water polo preliminaries; - Two temporary 50m warm-up pools for athletes competing in swimming, synchronised swimming and water polo events.
A stronger legacy for Seine Saint-Denis
After the Games, the permanent facilities in the Aquatics Centre (one 50m and one 25m pool) will be made available for the use of local residents and schoolchildren in Seine Saint-Denis. The three other – temporary – pools will be dismantled and reinstalled elsewhere in the department. In 2024, Seine-Saint-Denis will benefit from 12 new swimming facilities as a result of the Games:
- The five pools at Plaine Saulnier, including three temporary pools to be reassembled elsewhere in Seine Saint-Denis.
- And seven new training pools for the Games, in:
- Marville [renovated]
- Aubervilliers (2 pools)
- Aulnay (2 pools)
- Noisy-le-Sec (2 pools)
The water polo competition, planned in the bid phase to take place at Marville, will now be contested at the new permanent pool in the Aquatics Centre in Plaine Saulnier. The Marville pool will furthermore be entirely renovated for the benefit of local residents and used as a training venue for the Games.
After the Games, the Aquatics Centre in Plaine Saulnier will be open to local people as well as becoming a high-performance training centre. With its two pools, the venue will be capable of hosting major international competitions such as the European swimming Championships and the world championships in diving and water polo.
A new opportunity: the temporary Grand Palais
A programme of renovation at the Grand Palais, planned completely independently of the Games, has given rise to an opportunity to include the Temporary Grand Palais venue in the Paris 2024 Games concept. This temporary facility is being created to host the major art, fashion and sport shows and events usually held at the historic venue during its renovation. Once the work is complete, the temporary structure will be retained for a further few months, until September 2024, in order to stage the Paris 2024 Judo and Wrestling events.
The temporary structure will have a spectacular design, benefitting from high-quality architecture that will see it blend perfectly with the area around the Champ de Mars. The venue will have an area of approximately 13 500 m², capable of accommodating up to 9,000 spectators at Games time.
Clearer competition schedule / Additional budget savings
This new opportunity, which did not exist during the bid phase, will remove the need to create a temporary venue at Le Bourget, originally planned to house Badminton.
In the new Games concept, Badminton events will be held at Arena 2, located at Porte de la Chapelle (18e), just 3 km from the Stade de France, creating a further link between Paris and Seine Saint-Denis.
With a 7,500 seating capacity, this medium-sized venue fills a gap in the French capital’s sports inventory, and would have been built regardless of the Games as a new home for Paris basketball, handball and volleyball clubs.
Volleyball will also benefit from greater visibility within the new concept, in a temporary facility at Le Bourget with capacity for 12,000 spectators and better transport access than the original site (just a few hundred metres away).
In addition, with Judo taking up a prestigious new home at the Temporary Grand Palais, it will be possible to concentrate all the Basketball disciplines (men’s, women’s, qualifications and finals) at Paris Arena 1. This will bring more clarity to the competition schedule and guarantee an optimal experience for athletes. It will also enable costs savings on another venue: Stade Pierre-de-Coubertin, which had previously been planned to stage preliminary women’s basketball matches.
The Olympic Games sport and venue concept will be finalised in 2021, following the IOC’s final decision, scheduled for late 2020, on the sports programme for Paris 2024, and particularly regarding the new sports that will feature on the programme. Work to optimise the Paralympic Games venue plan is also underway with all stakeholders concerned. The event schedule for the Paralympic Games is due to be finalised in January 2019, after which the venue selection for the Paris 2024 Games will be confirmed in consultation with the International Federations and the International Paralympic Committee.