A world-class stadium will be built in Kaohsiung before the opening of the 2009 World Games in the city, acting Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said yesterday.
The acting mayor said that he is confident that Kaohsiung will be an exemplary host and that Taiwan will be proud.
Speaking to Taiwanese media immediately after receiving the flag of the World Games from International World Games Association chairman Ron Froehlich at the closing ceremony of the 2005 Games, Chen said that hosting big events like the World Games is a demonstration of a city's international competitiveness.
Chen, who led a 400-member delegation from Kaohsiung to the host city of Duisburg for the 2005 World Games, said that members of the Kaohsiung team, including officials from the Kaohsiung City Government, have picked up valuable tips on hosting the World Games.
Noting that preparations have already begun, Chen said that the Kaohsiung City Government plans to build the main stadium for the 2009 World Games with NT$5.35 billion (US$168.77 million) that has been allocated by the central government as a special project.
The next World Games will be in Kaohsiung July 16 to July 26 in 2009, with over 3,200 athletes from 90 countries around the world taking part in more than 30 events.
The main stadium, to be located at an abandoned naval base in Tsoying (左營), Kaohsiung City, will seat 50,000 and have a 400m track-and-field competition arena.
The Kaohsiung City Government has sponsored three workshops for international bidders, builders and contractors, Chen said, adding that contracts for the development of the main stadium and other peripheral facilities will be signed by the end of this year and the winning bidders should begin their designs early next year.
Groundbreaking for the stadium is scheduled to begin in July next year and construction will start in 2007, with the facility expected to be finished by January 2009, Chen said.
The World Games is a global athletic competition of sports not included in the Olympic Games. It will be the largest-ever international sports event held in Taiwan.
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