Brazil takes over Olympic Park after Rio fails to woo private bidder

Rio de Janeiro, Dec 24 (IANS) Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes has handed over management of the Olympic Park to Brazil’s federal Sports Ministry after a failed effort to attract a private bidder to operate its facilities.

The mayor’s office had pledged to award the rights to manage the Olympic facilities to a private company for 25 years to ensure public funds would not be used to cover high maintenance costs, reports Efe.

But due to a lack of interest, the Brazilian government has on Friday taken over management of facilities including the Carioca Arena 1 and 2 indoor stadiums, the Velodrome, the Olympic Tennis Centre, and the Aquatics Stadium, although the latter will be dismantled because another Olympic-sized pool is located very nearby.

Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani said at a ceremony on Friday that the entire Olympic Park would be transformed into a sports/recreation area, as well as a training ground for elite athletes.