Taipei to bid for 2019 Asian Games


TAIPEI — A delegation from Taipei City departed for China’s Guangzhou Tuesday to make known its ambition to host the 2019 Asian Games.

Taipei City, in cooperation with neighboring Taipei County, plans to build an Olympic-style athletics stadium in the city’s western suburb of Guandu, said Taipei City Sports Office Director Sun Chin-chuan, head of the Taipei delegation, at a press conference prior to departure.

According to Sun, the facility will have a media center capable of hosting 2,000 media personnel, a main stadium for 60,000 spectators, a 10,000-seat multifunction gymnasium and a 10,000-seat swimming pool auditorium.

Other facilities, including cycling and archery auditoriums, will also be built if the city and county win the bid for the 2019 Asian Games, Sun added.

Meanwhile, he said, a new sports dome will be built at the Linkou Stadium Park located in Taoyuan County’s Gueishan Township about 30 minutes from Taipei. The Linkou park will be the second major venue of the 2019 Asian Games if the bid is successful, he said.

In addition, an athletes village capable of accommodating 15,000 people and a massive hotel capable of hosting 5,000 sports officials will also be built in the expanded Linkou Stadium Park.

Four other Olympic-standard parks will also be developed in Taipei City’s Neihu, Zhongzheng and Daan districts, as well as in Taipei County’s Banciao City, while an equestrian stadium will be built in Taipei County’s Sanjhih Township, Sun added.

Initially, NT$50 billion (US$1.66 billion) will be raised for the 2019 Taipei Asian Games plan, with the city and county governments and the central government footing 86 percent of the cost and the remaining 14 percent to be raised via business sponsorships, according to Sun.

So far, Dubai and Singapore have also expressed interest in bidding for the right to host the games.

The Executive Board of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) will begin to accept applications from February 2011 filed by candidate cities. The OCA is scheduled to announce the winner of the bid in July 2011 after a vote by all 45 OCA member nations, Sun said.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said at the press conference that Taipei stands a good chance of winning the bid, given its successful experience in hosting the Deaflympics 2009 and the Taipei International Flora Expo 2010.