POSTED: November 2nd 2011

Rome 2020: Albanese talks about legacy and government support

LAURA WALDEN in LAUSANNE / Sports Features Communications

LAUSANNE: Ernesto Albanese, managing director of Roma 2020, talked exclusively to about the distinctive legacy of the Eternal City bid and the upcoming Parliamentary decision for support.

Albanese and the Rome team including Bruno Campanile and Massimo Mengoni are attending the IOC Bidding for the Games orientation seminar in Lausanne this week.

He said, “The meeting is very interesting for me, not only for myself but for the Rome bid as a whole. There is much information that we want to learn and to integrate into our narrative and in our project.

“The most interesting thing is difficult to say but the legacy is something that we have to pay a lot of attention to because of course the mix between legacy and sustainability is my priority for the Rome bid,” he added.
Rome hosted the 1960 summer Games at the iconic Mussolini styled Foro Italico sports compound based at the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI).

“We are a leading example of legacy, the Foro Italico was built starting in 1922 so in 2020 that value will have almost one hundred years and probably it is the oldest sport venue worldwide still currently being used and fully dedicated to sport," he added.

“It is something that will be part of our main communication strategy because it is an interesting case. It is an ancient venue of one hundred years but it has been developed and improved throughout the twentieth century to be equipped to host international sporting events.

“Tennis has a new main court, we’ve had the FIFA World Cup of football, athletics has the Golden Gala, and we hosted the world championship of swimming in 2009, and the beach volley world cup. Even next year for the first time the Rugby Six Nations event will take place at Foro Italico at the Olympic Stadium.

"So it is a very good example of what legacy means in the real sense. Moreover the whole area is very well managed and well kept. It is very big and it is also profitable so it makes an interesting case study,” he summed up. 

Parliament support

The Rome bid will be going forward with a formal request within the next month to get Parliamentary support for the bid and this is critical for the guarantees they must present to the IOC. Italy and Spain both have been dogged with the current economic crisis going on in Europe creating a challenging situation for any bid. However they have a plan of attack.

Albanese said, “We have to present a joint resolution among all the political parties. The first important step already took place at the Municipality of Rome where a joint resolution was approved late July.
“The next step is the Italian Parliament and of course it is not an easy moment for the western countries and for Italy in particular. But we think this is a great investment opportunity for our country and that is what many political representatives think about this possible investment in the Olympic Games.

“Of course we are requested to make a very efficient and sustainable project and that is what we will be doing. Also because, fortunately we already have a huge number of venues that already exist that must be refurbished and renewed but of course the cost will be much lower for that than if they were built from scratch.

“We are confident that we can make a very good bid project that can absolutely be in condition to convince both the domestic public and the Olympic Movement.

“Of course you know we must submit the questionnaire by mid -February and in the questionnaire some preliminary guarantees must be provided. So I think that by late November some kind of decision must be presented and approved by the Parliament.
“In any case we must present some guarantees for the questionnaire so something must be done.
“We are aware it will be a difficult competition, but we are confident we have our chances , our assets and our strong points and we will try to maximize the importance of them.

Albanese also spoke about the reason he got behind the bid in the first place.

He said, “I decided to take the job because I think that the challenge is possible and I think it is a strategic opportunity for our country. This is not only a Rome bid this is an Italy challenge and we will have great opportunity if we succeed to give to the world as a whole a clear message that Italy still exists and is still strong and wants to compete in the international market.

“We want to be the Italy that many of the cities in the world love, not only the country in the difficulties that we are facing now that you often read about in the newspaper. We have our troubles but we are still here and we want to be a fantastic country for the next Olympic Games.”

Rome is competing in the bid race with five other cities Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid, and Tokyo. The final vote will be taken in September 2013 at the IOC session in Buenos Aires.

Keywords · Rome 2020 · Ernesto Albanese · Italian Parliament · Olympic bidding

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