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Rio Tennis Centre tender requires combined construction and operation

Rio de Janeiro’s City Hall has launched a tender for the construction and operation of the 2016 Barra da Tijuca Olympic Park Tennis Centre. The venue will be part of the future Olympic Training Centre (OTC) for high-performance athletes, the main sporting legacy of Rio’s Olympic Games to Brazil and to the city.

The Federal Government will transfer R$ 182,7 million to the municipality for the construction works and services, according to a technical cooperation agreement signed by the Sports Ministry and the City Hall in May 2012. The resources come from the Brazilian Growth Acceleration Program (PAC in Portuguese) and will be passed by Caixa Econômica Federal.

Of the expected total, R$ 139,9 million will be applied to the construction of permanent structures, R$ 29,7 million to temporary structures, and R$ 13,1 million to the dismantling of temporary structures, operations and maintenance of the Tennis Centre before, during and after the Games.

The tender protocol involves not only the construction, but also the operation of the venue until May 2017, eight months after the Paralympic Games. The proposal to ensure the operation of the arena was presented by the Sports Ministry, which has been working closely with the City Hall.

The use of the arena during and after the Games is also included in the tender protocol. The Tennis Centre will consist of eight permanent courts and eight temporary. The decision to build temporary structures is aimed at optimising the cost-benefit, since these tennis courts would be of limited use after the Games, but would require future spending for maintenance, which is a relevant part of the cost of a sport facility.

The Tennis Centre will have a permanent main court, with 10,000 seats, a temporary one, with 5,000 seats, and another one with 3,000 seats that will remain in place, but without the grandstands after the Games. There will also be 13 outdoor courts, seven of them with 250 seats each (six permanent). The other ones will serve for training and warming up purposes.

The complex will host the tennis competition during the Olympic Games and the wheelchair tennis and 5-a-side football competitions during the Paralympic Games. After 2016, the main court and seven others will be part of the OTC and will also be available to host international tennis matches.

Rio 2016 advises that there are three main criteria for the construction and maintenance of the Tennis Centre: economy, simplicity and practicality. These concepts – applied in all sports facilities of the Olympic Park – guided many decisions, such as the choice to rent equipment, instead of buying it.

One of the most important measures to reduce costs is to standardise the materials to be used in the Tennis Centre and three other facilities (Aquatic Centre, Handball Arena and Velodrome). Among them are technology items, such as scoreboards. The idea is rent everything that is not absolutely necessary to buy or that will become technologically outdated.

Some items that will be leased are foreseen in the tender, such as the temporary tennis court’s grandstands and elevators. The rest of the rental items are the so-called complementary facilities (e.g. scoreboards, screens, generators, air-conditioning, temporary toilets, furniture and computers), which will be provided by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee.

The basic project of the Tennis Centre – as well as the Velodrome, Handball Arena and the Aquatic Centre – has been delivered. The executive project is nearing its conclusion and will be ready at the beginning of the construction works. These projects are being funded by the City.

The consortium 2016 – Especialistas em Eventos Esportivos, formed by GMP Design e Projetos do Brasil Ltda., SBP do Brasil Projetos Ltda., LUMENS Engenharia Ltda., and Sustentech Desenvolvimento Sustentável Ltda, won the tender for the development of the basic and executive projects for the Tennis Centre. The preliminary studies were done by AECOM, the company responsible for the Master Plan of the Olympic Park (picture courtesy AECOM, see article PanStadia & Arena Management Autumn issue).

TheTennis Centre, the Aquatic Centre, the Handball Arena and the Velodrome will be built through a cooperation agreement between the Federal Government and the Municipality. It is intended that the permanent arenas will be LEED certified.

The Federal Government will pay for these four Olympic venues, which are not included in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) of the Barra da Tijuca Olympic Park. The PPP enabled an important part of the project, which was previously the sole responsibility of the Federal Government in the Bid Book.

Get the latest on Soccerex content and Brazil’s venue industry Big Bang in the Autumn issue of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine.