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SBD Global/April 4, 2014/Olympics

London's Renovated Olympic Park Set To Open To Public On Saturday

London's renovated Olympic Park will open to the public on Saturday.
Londoners "will be able to enjoy the golden legacy of London 2012" as the Olympic Park opens to the public round-the-clock on Saturday, according to Bryant & Beard of the London EVENING STANDARD. London’s newest park "will be in operation 24-hours a day after the gates open this weekend" -- just 18 months after the Paralympic Closing Ceremony. For just a "few pounds" a head, Londoners "will be able to use world-class arenas." London Legacy Development Corp. CEO Dennis Hone said that London "has pulled off a feat unprecedented in Games history" by converting venues for community benefit so quickly. Hone: "It is a testament to the planners, designers and the construction workers who had one vision: a vibrant legacy" (EVENING STANDARD, 4/2). In London, Oliver Wainwright noted it will be "the biggest new park in Europe for 150 years." Approximately £300M ($498M) has been spent on "adapting venues, planting trees and moving minor mountains." The northern half of the park, "composed of neatly sculpted Teletubby mounds fringed by swaths of wildflower meadows," reopened in July and has already received a million visitors. A further 3 million "are expected in the coming year, now that the final piece in the jigsaw is complete with the opening of the southern park, conceived as a 'Southbank for the East End.'" Designer James Corner said, "We imagined it as a place for performance and play, markets and festivals, circuses and events" (GUARDIAN, 4/2).
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