Amid the buzz of anticipation for the 2024 Olympics, organizers and Paris City Hall officials inaugurated Sunday the first – and only – purpose-built site in the French capital for this summer’s Games, nestled in a multicultural working-class neighborhood.
The Adidas Arena at Porte de la Chapelle – among the poorest areas in Paris – is ready and “operational” about five months before the Games begin, officials said. It is being touted as showcasing the city’s readiness and commitment to both the global sporting community and its residents.
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Christened the Adidas Arena through a lucrative partnership worth approximately 2.8 million euros ($3 million) per year with the sportswear brand, the venue can host up to 8,000 spectators for an array of sports events and live performances.
It will also become the home of the Paris Basketball club. Two gymnasiums next to the venue will provide sport facilities that are much needed in the neglected community, according to city hall. In recent years, the location had been home to hundreds of migrants and asylum-seekers living in squalid conditions in makeshift camps that have been regularly cleared by police.
Games organizers opted against constructing as many purpose-built buildings as seen in previous Games in other host cities. Other major construction work for 2024 includes the Olympic Village, which will house about 15,000 athletes and officials, and the swimming pool, both located technically outside of Paris in a suburban area north of the city.
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