Olympic part­ners

Pri­vate sec­tor to help build, op­er­ate Beijing skat­ing venue

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By SUN XIAOCHEN sunx­i­aochen@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pri­vate part­ners will be in­vited to build and op­er­ate the new speed skat­ing venue for the 2022 Win­ter Olympics as part of a co­op­er­a­tive pro­gram launched Fri­day by Beijing.

The pro­gram aims to share costs and im­prove sus­tain­abil­ity, of­fi­cials said.

Five years ahead of the 2022 Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games, Beijing has al­ready be­gun plan­ning for the postGames use of its new venues. Plans call for the pri­vate sec­tor to con­trib­ute funds, con­struc­tion re­sources and op­er­a­tional ex­per­tise to help build and run the 12,000-seat Na­tional Speed Skat­ing Oval jointly with the gov­ern­ment.

The pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship is over­seen by the Beijing Ma­jor Projects Con­struc­tion Head­quar­ters Of­fice, reg­u­la­tor of the city's ma­jor build­ing projects. It will open the bid­ding process to in­di­vid­ual en­ter­prises and con­sor­tiums glob­ally at the end of July, with all the bids to be eval­u­ated by late Septem­ber, ac­cord­ing to the of­fice.

Bid­ders with deep pock­ets, sta­dium con­struc­tion ex­pe­ri­ence and post-event op­er­a­tions know-how will be fa­vored in the se­lec­tion, offi- cials said. The of­fice will over­see the process.

The even­tual bid win­ner will be au­tho­rized to trans­form and op­er­ate the venue for com­mer­cial pur­poses for 25 years af­ter the Games, to­gether with Beijing Sta­te­owned As­sets Man­age­ment Co, the gov­ern­men­tal stake­holder in the joint ven­ture.

“It will be an ef­fec­tive model for shar­ing con­struc­tion costs and en­cour­ag­ing the pri­vate sec­tor to of­fer in­no­va­tive and com­mer­cially prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions for the sus­tain­able use of the venue,” said Wang Gang, Party chief of the of­fice.

The oval, to be built on the site of the for­mer Beijing 2008 Sum­mer Olympics’ tem­po­rary hockey grounds, was de­signed by in­ter­na­tional ar­chi­tec­tural firm Pop­u­lous as home to the long-track speed skat­ing com­pe­ti­tion in 2022 and a fu­ture cen­ter for pub­lic skat­ing, ice hockey games and en­ter­tain­ment events.

Con­struc­tion is to be com­pleted by the end of 2019 on a planned bud­get of 1.18 bil­lion yuan ($174 mil­lion). It will stage the first warm-up event for Beijing 2022 in early 2020.

Af­ter the Games, the gov­ern­ment will al­low great op­er­a­tional free­dom and of­fer nec­es­sary lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port to the pri­vate part­ner to help it de­velop func­tions for the venue, said the of­fice.

“How­ever, we will do our job to su­per­vise the op­er­a­tion through the en­tire joint-de­vel­op­ment course un­der a trans­par­ent and open frame­work,” said Dai Meng­dong, a se­nior in­spec­tor with the of­fice.

Olympic ice events will be held at 12 venues, in­clud­ing eight ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties, in down­town Beijing. Alpine ski­ing, bob­sled and luge will be hosted in Yan­qing county in the cap­i­tal’s north­west sub­urbs. Co-host city Zhang - ji­akou in He­bei prov­ince will host the rest of the snow events.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The Na­tional Speed Skat­ing Oval, a new venue for the 2022 Win­ter Olympics, is seen in an artist’s ren­di­tion. It will be built and op­er­ated by a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship.

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