In sharp contrast to the troubles that beset the building of sports facilities in Montreal for the Olympic last year, preparations for the Commonwealth Games in another Canadian city, Edmonton, are progressing on schedule.
In sharp contrast to the troubles that beset the building of sports facilities in Montreal for the Olympic last year, preparations for the Commonwealth Games in another Canadian city, Edmonton, are progressing on schedule. The second of our reports from Edmonton on the build-up to the Games in 1978, looks first at the superb swimming facilities.
SYNOPSIS: Swimmers and divers competing in the 1978 Commonwealth Games will be using four pools in a new Aquatic Centre. As well as the main eight lane pool, which is 50 metres long, there is a six lane warm-up pool of the same length. The five metre deep diving tank has four diving platforms and four springboards, and the complex will be completed with a teaching pool. The water here will be heated up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (nearly 30 degrees Centigrade) for hydrotherapy. The authorities in Edmonton were adamant from the beginning that they would build facilities which the city could afford, and which the city could use after Commonwealth Games. So they have built some brand new centres and updated others. The swimming complex has been grafted onto an existing Sports Centre, and seating increased three fold to nearly five thousand.
But the venue for the Bowls matches is brand new. Although Edmonton had five lawn bowling clubs none was suitable and four new greens have been constructed along with an attractive clubhouse. Officials from the organising committees from a number of Commonwealth countries who've visited Edmonton have been impressed at the way work is progressing.
Three thousand temporary seats will be used by spectators at the new cycle track at the Argyll Velodrome. After the Games, the seats will be removed, and future fans will sit on landscaped terraces. The track itself, with a 333.3 metre circuit, has a longer straight and not such tight curves as the Olympic track in Montreal. In line with the policy of keeping costs down, the Velodrome is open. A roof would have added another hundred million dollars to the price tag. As it is, the whole structure cost well under one million dollars.
The newest event in the Commonwealth Games programme, gymnastics, will take place in Edmonton's magnificent Coliseum. The building was opened in 1974, and seats over 15,000 people in upholstered comfort. A 21-storey tower block would fit inside the circular building.