PtG Article 06.10.2005

Floating Olympic stadium could redress imbalance between rich and poor

A floating Olympic Stadium is not only a technical possibility but also a necessity if the world wants to live up to the ethos embodied in the Olympic Charter, argues a team of researchers from Technion at Israel Institute of Technology.

At Play the Game 2005, the team will present its plans for floating and transportable state-of-the-art Olympic facilities.

The team headed by professor of architecture Michael Burt wants to build a series of floating modules with 

  • A central stadium equipped to serve up to 150,000 spectators 
  • An auxiliary sport facilities module for various branches of sport including water sports 
  • An Olympic village and accommodation for visitors 
  • A centre for administration, media, communication and research 
  • A sports university campus 

The modules should be self-contained but able to join together during travel and when anchored, so people can walk from place to place on footbridges. 

With the proposal, the research team wants to solve the problem that many nations are unable to host Olympic events because it entails spending large amounts of money on constructing temporary sport facilities. Such nations could rent or borrow a water-based facility for the duration of the event and thereby get the opportunity to play an active part in the Olympic movement. 

“The idea of a floating array of Olympic facilities travelling the oceans is not just a visionary dream but a stark necessity which could be realised and made practical. It can be sustained by contemporary technology, and various critical aspects of this technology have already been successfully tested,” the team argues in a research paper. 

The Israeli team points out that a floating stadium could also be used for other events such as concerts, fairs, exhibitions and conventions, and in that way the complex could be used to generate money for its own maintenance.