Olympic Games are naturally political instances. Authoritative contents have been sent from the Olympic platforms through politicians, athletes as well as participants. Notable and infamous incidents include the National Socialist salute performed by German athletes in the 1936 Berlin games, the ‘Black Power’ salute performed by American and Australian athletes in the 1968 Mexico City games, and the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow games under President Reagan’s orders. These consequences symbolize purposefully selected instances of political expression and dissent celebrating the political freedom of the Olympic movement. The powers of these instances lie with the capability of the Olympic participants to use the games to exaggerate their political plans. In that case, the Beijing Olympics economic row appears slightly emaciated. Two reasons why economic incentives may not have been the primary motivation for China’s bid are: (1) The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) has successfully implemented other development program without an Olympic bid (Preuss 41) and (2) If the motivations were economic, it follows that host nations will maximize net profits by encouraging cost efficient infrastructure developments (Rose & Spiegel, 2011). Olympic Games in Beijing, nonetheless, out did other former as well as succeeding sport events by an extensive margin, proposing that the cost competence wasn’t a major incentive (Preuss & Alfs 653). In the earlier decade, China’s bid for the Olympic Games was a time of vast economic development. China was awarded full membership of the W. T. O. when it was awarded the 2008 Olympic hosting right. (Rose & Spiegel 670). Independent of its Olympic bid, China became swift in securing its position as an economic powerhouse, taking an advantage of the Olympic Games to transform its image economically. Olympics status improved China’s global authenticity. (Xu, 106; Zhou & John 83). This paper reviews opinions and ideas of various authors concerning the different models of Olympic venues as well as Beijing’s current status.
Current State of Beijing’s Sports Industry
Since China’s successful bid to host the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in the year 2008, the sports facilities have developed due to Beijing’s Constructions of the new architectural icons that received international awards. However, these sports facilities currently lie untouched with no actual plans for reuse in the near future. Ideally, many of these facilities are hardly even maintained. The operating models of the Olympic venues are dependent on various contexts of particular Olympic Venues, their specified operating requirements, funding requirements and the ownership complexities. Operation models for the venues take into consideration the community liaising, venue programming and the marketing approaches. They incorporate activities as development of the venue administration, Boards of trustees, systems for raising and retention of earned revenues and the management of facilities including the cafes, concessions among other factors. The different operation models of Olympic venues focus on specific issues such as printing and distribution of competition results or athletes’ transportations, and also on the broader problem areas such as the dynamic profiling of the venue for the entire duration of events (Xu 106).
Variety of Olympic Venue Operations
The management model of various Olympic venues involves engaging in best practices and strategies that would result in success of the event. Right from the architectural designs, the venues management entails strategic administrative practices as well as other strategies of attracting more attention. In Beijing for instance, in accordance to its revelation, Beijing wanted to convey Games that would be for the people, that are worth sustainable, and that would serve as a showcase for new technologies – in short, “People’s Games”, “Green Games” and “High-Tech Games”. By and large, organizers delivered on obligations that created the backbone of the Beijing 2008 bequests. Many Olympic venues were situated in or close to University Campuses, Many of the Olympic venues were located in or close to university campuses, and are therefore well utilized today by students. A number of locations got renovated and transformed to attain world class status of hosting a major event as the Olympic. The renovated Water Cube will not only maintain its function for hosting international competitions and performances, but also obtain the functions of an indoor multifunctional sports and recreational centre providing comprehensive services, including water recreation, sports, tourism and retail, in line with its original design. Moreover, some sites have expanded to worldwide iconic class; this is because of their remarkable structural design. Once the Olympic Games were over, some of the lively sites were for charity work purposes (Xu 104). These sites are run by local governments and posses liability to the entire community. China’s MasterCard Center is a prime multi-function stadium in Beijing. Initially, built to hold the basketball games for the 2008 Olympics, it went under vast repair and advancement to get to its current condition that allows music, cultural, sporting and theatrical occurrences. These progresses contributed to the center becoming the main tourist’s attraction for the Chinese government. Actually, among other Olympic venues in Beijing, the MasterCard center is the most operational even after the 2008 Olympics. The MasterCard center is an advanced model of the previous that incorporates a number of sporting, entertainment and cultural events. The key aspects of the Stadium Management models include the Local Area Management Plan, which aims to minimize environmental impact to residents and businesses affected by major events at the MasterCard Center, hence the state of the art renovation of the facility. Within the Olympic parks, that is, the areas hosting the Olympic venues, there are well designed Travel Plans. These include traffic management schemes as well as the Monitoring Programme involving independent bodies in the assessment of the extent to which adverse environmental effects are minimized (Siegfried &Zimbalist 362).
The MasterCard Center
In its management modeling, the MasterCard center originally known as the Wukesong Arena and later renamed the current MasterCard under a five year contract with the Bloomage International Investment Group and the United States Base AEG (Baade 623). The renaming of the Arena marked an objective for the Chinese swiftly rising sports and entertainment industry. It is the first 2008 Olympic Games venue to be rebranded commercially, the first arena in Beijing to be renamed in such a way, and it also marks the first time local ownership and know-how has combined with international event management expertise and sponsorship to bring the world’s best performers to Beijing. Under the novel developments, a number of policies have been introduced to regulate and guide the management operations of the Olympic venues. Among the policies are the safety and security factors that take into consideration the general constructions in relation to the anticipated hazards. It is important for Sports ground and domes plans to conform with the appropriate fire protection as well as life safety necessities when buildings or stadia are amply -occupied and fully-staffed for main sporting and gig events. However, it is important that designs also comply during “non-game day” events when the facility is not completely-staffed (Xu 106).
Predictions of the Beijing Olympic Committee
According to The Beijing Olympic Committee, the economic gains of entertaining mega-sporting events are often overstated. In their predictions, the committee considered various factors ranging from the planning to the actual events. The committee argued that, the Olympic games would become extremely expensive since it involves a number of developments as building of large stadia, improving other infrastructure such as the transport networks, communication systems and residential facilities among others (Owen 16). The committee foresaw that the use of venues in Beijing would contribute to numerous unaccounted for hidden costs which in turn would weigh heavily on the administrations. Maintenance costs of the developed facilities would be unmanageable after the Olympic Games are completed (Owen 16). However, the Committee predicted that apart from the high investment injected in the constructions, renovations and hosting of the Olympics, there would be increased employment creation resulting from the boost in the economic advantage. Beijing Olympic Committee comprehended the existence of intangible aspects in using these Olympic venues. According to this committee, if the economic gains for hosting mega-events are uncertain, there should be some intangible gains that give details why nations wish to host them, even with the difficulties they pose (Coates &Humphreys 613). The committee argued that, using the Olympic venues, would provide Beijing a higher status matching the hierarchy of other world-class cities thus attaining higher global rating. This explanation appeared reasonable considering the current phase of globalization. They implied that these games would promote free inflow of capital and a boost to the tourism sector. Beijing’s main intention of hosting the 2008 Olympic Games was to attain and surpass its Asian counterparts in resource capacity. The Committee predicted that by using the Olympic Venues, Beijing would gain a higher status above its competing neighboring cities (Owen 16).
Another major issue that committee predicted was exploitation of economic multipliers, which posses major challenges in the economic forecasts. ‘Direct’ expenditures emanating from the actual event are important in deducing indirect effects, which in most cases are usually exaggerated. The economic multipliers normally useful in economic forecasting entail multifaceted formulas, which creates the existing inter-relations among industries in the region. At some point in the mega-sporting events, the said relations are broken, misrepresenting the multipliers. This makes calculation and accounting of the prospective leakages very complex. Evidently, one has to differentiate between whether visitors spend their money within the local economy or on hotel rooms and restaurants, which belong to national chains (Owen 16).
State of the Olympic Venues after the Games
Despite the extensively heavy expenditure on the development and improvement of the infrastructures to welcome the Olympic game, majority of the Olympic venues have been abandoned years after the actual Olympic events. However, some of the facilities attached to the Olympics still remain standing and serve productive purposes. Reasons behind abandonment of most of the facilities could be; inconsistent plans for the long run maintenance of the sporting facilities, economic meltdown, political and governance issues and the fade out of the sport’s popularity (Baade 623). Outstanding hosts’ cities such as Beijing (2008), Athens (2004) and Sarajevo (1984) are the most desolate examples from the past 30 years, however, it appears that since 1989 most hosts have changed the trend and are moving towards more sustainable plans for their facilities after events. The International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Charter’s Rule 2, Article 14 states part of the International Olympics Committee’s responsibility is ensuring host cities consider and maximize the legacy of their Games. Hordes have gained a lot from Games-related hauling infrastructure, additional telecommunications, job training and nonstop use of the facilities built for the Games. They therefore need to plan and set strategic approaches that would enhance the sustainability of these facilities even after the events. The economic benefits of the Olympic Games are major in creation of employment opportunities as well as improvement of the GDP, thus in the event of completion of the games, countries should find means of sustainable maintenance of the said facilities. In Barcelona for example, the portions of architectures initially developed for the Olympics event in 1992 Summer games, have been charmingly incorporated into a scenery. The Montjuïc Communication Tower for instance, was built for the transmission of Television networks and still stands in the Olympic Park of Barcelona performing the same purpose it was established for to date. This still contributes to the advancement of the Barcelonan Television Networks across the globe thus promote economic benefits to the region. On the other hand, Beijing Olympics administrators advanced the 2008 Games as an occasion to host the world’s prevalent sporting event, not to build infrastructure of permanent importance. Today Beijing remains the post-Olympics countryside lying deserted. Ideally, these developments involve massive expenditures in the building of new facilities and improving the existing infrastructure to match the world-class levels of development. However, these investments incorporate numerous hidden costs and intangible factors that in the long run present extremely high maintenance costs, leading to the abandonment of these facilities (Coates &Humphreys 613).
Various articles and authors have varied opinions and ideas about the Olympic Games. Nonetheless, a good number of write-ups reviewed share in the major factors surrounding the Olympic Games. Ideally, most articles capture the facts on costs implications and sustainability of the infrastructural perspective of these major Sporting events. Olympic Games are grand sporting events that contribute numerous developments in hosing cities. It brings about building of infrastructure, renovations and improvement of facilities to suit the sporting and spectator requirements. These developments however involve excessive costs that require very intensive investments by the respective authorities. Apart from the actual costs of investments, the developments also involve some hidden costs and intangible factors that in the long run result in inability of countries to maintain the facilities after the sporting events. Many facilities in cities that earlier hosted the Grand events are left abandoned and yield no economic benefits. Very few facilities build for the purpose of the Olympic events have been maintained for various purposes, an example of these is the MasterCard Center in China that today serves as a Multi-purpose center hosting Sporting, Entertainment and other Cultural events. In addition, the Montjuïc Communication Tower in Barcelona has remained operational long after the actual Olympic Games. In essence, certain Olympic Committee predictions have been met. It is therefore prudent for countries to develop systems that are capable of maintaining the developed facilities even after the completion of the Olympic Games in the Future.
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