Turk Telekom Arena is one of 20 facilities TOKI is building in Turkey. (Getty Images)

Turkey Invests in Stadiums

Turkey’s Housing Development Administration (TOKI) is taking the lead in a development that will lead to 20 new stadiums for football and other sports, and a 20,000-seat arena.

Hurriyet Daily News mentions that two of the stadiums – Turk Telekom Arena, home of Galatasaray, and Mersin Stadium – are already in operation.

“We’re carrying out the most comprehensive investments in sports history in cooperation with the Sports Ministry,” said TOKI’s Ahmet Haluk Karabel in an interview with Anadolu Agency.

An impetus for the movement has been Istanbul’s bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The city, along with Tokyo and Madrid, is a candidate for the Games. A host will be chosen next month in Buenos Aires.

If Istanbul is chosen, TOKI will play a large role in building the facilities and the Olympic Village.

The renovation at London’s Olympic Stadium is underway. (Getty Images)

Transformation Work Begins in London

Like all Olympic hosts, London had visions of making their athletic facilities assets to the community for years to come. The city took a step toward making those dreams a reality on Tuesday.

The Olympic Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be transformed into a year-round, multi-use venue by 2015.

Work started on a major renovation and reconfiguration ready to host Premier League club West Ham, athletics and other events.

In contracts worth over £67m, the London Legacy Development Corporation
on behalf of the E20 Stadium LLP has started the work through contractor
Carey’s PLC.

The first step is the removal of 25,000 seats and the grass field. The existing roof will be removed to make way for one twice the size of the original, which will be in place by spring 2015. That’s when final preparations for the Rugby World Cup will take place, including concessions, toilets and turnstile installations, among others.

After the Rugby World Cup, more work will be done to prepare the stadium for its long-term tenants, West Ham and UK Athletics.

New retractable seating will be installed so the lower bowl can be
protracted and retracted depending on the type of event taking place;
this allows closer pitchside football views while retaining an
international class running track. These will be in place ahead of the
start of the football season, domestic athletics championships and
Diamond League events taking place in the summer of 2016.

“These constructions work are creating valuable jobs,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson, “and underlining the progress being made to deliver a legacy from the 2012 Game in East London.”

By INSIDER’s Nick Devlin

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