In particular, Mayor Malcolm Brodie highlighted the benefits that Richmond has enjoyed as a result of the 2010 Winter Games, such as the Richmond Olympic Oval, which was built especially for the long-track speed skating events and has since become a highly successful community facility that includes an indoor track, two ice rinks, badminton courts, volleyball courts and a 23,000-square-foot fitness centre.
“The Richmond Olympic Oval met long-standing community needs for expanded and enhanced indoor sport and recreation facilities,” Brodie told Olympic.org. “The Oval has become the destination of choice for our community for sports, recreation, fitness, wellness and special events. It provides world class facilities that are used every day by a wide spectrum of our community. More than two million users have already visited the Oval. Dozens of summer and winter sports occur within the Oval. We have approximately three dozen sport users groups that are regular tenants of the Oval, including four sport leagues which account for more than 100,000 visits annually alone. Membership in the Oval has already surpassed 2013 targets and members account for about 20,000 visits monthly.”
Brodie also recognised the economic benefits that Richmond has enjoyed as a result of the Games.
“Hosting the Games spurred an initial $2 billion of new investment in Richmond for new public infrastructure and private development and was the catalyst for the creation of a new urban waterfront community that is growing around the Oval,” he said. “Since the Games, there has been a renewed interest in development within our City Centre, where the Oval is located, and currently more than $4 billion in new development is underway or moving through the approval process just within our City Centre.”
But Brodie was also keen to stress the importance of proper legacy planning when preparing for the Games.
“Pre-planning was extremely important to our success,” he said. “City staff and members of our City Council visited several Olympic speed skating ovals and other Olympic venues. They also met with numerous local government, facility and other representatives before we even confirmed going forward with our bid to build the Oval. This due diligence was extremely important in confirming the importance of building a venue that was designed not just to meet the needs of the Olympic Games, but which had a strong, viable business plan for its use post-Games. In the end, our plans for the Oval were always focused on maximising its post-Games viability and legacy potential, while also ensuring it met the shorter term needs of the Olympic Games.”
Brodie also emphasised the benefits gained from liaising with previous Olympic host cities to learn from their experiences.
“Our meetings with representatives from other Olympic cities helped us understand the transformative benefits that were available from hosting the Games,” he said. “Thus, we developed our comprehensive 2010 plan well in advance of the Games that sought to take advantage of as many of the opportunities presented by the Games as possible and use them to create long-term legacies for our city. ”
And Brodie was also keen to highlight the role played by the IOC in helping plan for a post-Games legacy.
“We also committed to working closely with the IOC, Vancouver and other members of the Olympic family as we recognised that collaboration would be essential for all of us achieve our mutual goals and collectively be seen as outstanding hosts and presenters of the Games,” he said.