RNOC vice president Alexander Kozlovsky and the city's Olympic plans

St Petersburg unveils plans for Olympic bid construction

St Petersburg needs approximately $3 billion to build stadiums, infrastructure and accommodations should it win the right to hold the 2004 Olympic Games.

Deputy Mayor Valery Malyshev stressed that funds would come from the private sector.

"We do not plan to spend money from the city budget on construction work for the games," he said.

Mr Malyshev was speaking at last Wednesday's unveiling of construction plans for the St Petersburg's Olympic bid.

He said the city set up a holding company chaired by St Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak to organize sponsors and investment.

St Petersburg will also be calling on Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin to make good on his promise to organize a special meeting of the Russian government in November to discuss ways of helping the city with its Olympic bid.

The games blueprint was produced by the mayor's office and the Russian National Olympic Committee (RNOC).

RNOC vice president Alexander Kozlovsky said that St Petersburg had an advantage over the 14 other bid cities because its plan called for all of the sites to be close together.

"This will be extremely convenient for all participants and guests of the Games," he said.

The plans call for the construction of three ring road highways around St Petersburg with a six-lane motorway running north-south through the city.

This highway system will connect Pulkovo airport with the Vyborgskoye Shosse and will run through tunnels and over a high bridge above the Neva River to the left of Lieutenant Shmidt bridge and then run along the gulf coastline of Vasilyevsky Ostrov.

A total of 10 new sporting venues are to be built, including a Center for Aquatic Sports (on Kosmonavtov Prospect) and a new rowing channel (southwest of the city in Polezhayevsky park).

The Kirovsky, Petrovsky and Yubileiny stadiums will be substantially renovated along with 13 other existing facilities.

Three sites are under consideration to house the Olympic village -- sections of Kosmonavtov or Novoizmailovsky Prospects, and next to the Pribaltyskaya Hotel on Vasilyevsky Ostrov.

"The Mayor's Office of St Petersburg is totally enthused over the Olympic Games bid," said Mr Kozlovsky, "In fall, 1997, we must win the competition to host the Games." (SPP)

© 1995 St Petersburg Press