Jul 26 2013, 6:28am CDT | by IANS
After three years of renovation and construction work, all 117 venues have been put into service, said the Games' organising committee Friday, reports Xinhua.
According to the committee, all the 64 competition venues and 52 training venues for the Games have been put into operation before July 15 and one fifth of them are newly-built. Among the new venues, seven are at universities, six in old cities without a fair stadium, and 10 stadiums are solely constructed for the Games.
"All venues are located in 14 cities and 9 universities throughout Liaoning province, and most of them will contribute to improve the sports infrastructure for ordinary people. Hence, the post-Games utilization of the venues will not be a problem. We hope these venues will enrich the cultural and sports life of college students and ignite mass enthusiasm to participate in fitness activities in cities," said Li Shikai, deputy secretary of the Games' organising committee.
Held every four years, the Games, which is China's premier sports event and a crucial testing ground for future Olympic champions, will face some major changes.
According to Li, the number of venues has been cut from 129 to 117, and the venues have been built under a tight control on both size and scale. And for the first time since the Games was inaugurated in 1987, the opening ceremony of the quadrennial event will take place during the daytime. Moreover, the spending on the Games will be capped at 800 million yuan (approx $130 million), a huge drop of 78 percent than previous budget.
These changes are not resulted from the slow economic growth as some observers suggested. For the first half of the year, in Liaoning province, where the 12th National Games will run from August 31 to September 12, statistics registered an increase of nine percent in GDP, better than the national average.
"For all segments of the Games, we strive to create, hopefully, a fresh fashion of organising big events in a thrift manner and reaping practical achievement at the same time," said He Min, deputy director of the Games' organising committee.
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