Budapest, Hungary mayor István Tarlós welcomed FINA officials this week, including FINA Executive Director, Cornel Marculescu, to mark the second inspection visit to sites set to host the 2017 FINA World Championships. Budapest was originally the host of the 2021 World Championships, but stepped in to host the 2017 edition once the city of Guadalajara, Mexico pulled out as host.
FINA met with Budapest 2017 organizing committee members to view the Palace of Pools, which is the event’s primary competition facility, hosting swimming, synchronized swimming, diving and water polo finals. The facility is set to include an indoor 50m competition pool, indoor warm-up pool and outdoor 50m pool. The building is also touted as being a “green project”, using solar energy, geothermal heat and thermal water, all with the goal of conserving energy consumption.
Construction began in May of this year and FINA was already able to view two 27m high towers in progress on the building. The completion date has yet to be identified, but organizers say it will be next year.
Said Marculescu of his visit to Budapest, “We had many meetings with the people who run this project and I can tell you that we managed to agree on every little detail. FINA is really proud that Budapest will have such a fantastic legacy after the 17th FINA World Championships.”
The event is estimated to be costing Hungary up to 49 billion Hungarian forint, or about $177 million, but at the same time is said to be aiming to draw up to 5 billion TV viewers (according to Hungary Today). Hosting the largest sporting event ever to take place in Hungary may earn the city of Budapest points in the Olympic bidding process, as the city is one of 5 candidates, along with Paris, Los Angeles, Rome and Hamburg in the running to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.