Winter Olympics, Tuesday it will be decided whether the skating will be at the Oval
It’s just after ten on Saturday when the mayor’s mobile phone and the journalists who are attending the meeting between Stefano Lo Russo, the councilor for the budget, Gabriella Nardelli, and the social partners, on the 2023 budget, receive the reproduction of a page from Il Sole 24 ore announcing Milan’s victory in the ice challenge for the Winter Olympics. In reality, nothing has been decided, and inside Palazzo Civico there are those who give a political interpretation of the article: Confindustria is pushing for the Lombard capital. Lo Russo, however, does not break down, on the contrary: «Here we are talking about numbers from the city’s budget. This is our style and therefore the figures speak for us about the reuse of the Oval». Numbers which, of course, Lo Russo does not reveal even if he adds: «With the president of the Region, Alberto Cirio, we have made ourselves available to lend a hand to the Olympics, if needed, and we have dutifully sent a dossier illustrating what the opportunities for Turin and we are confidently awaiting the outcome of this investigation».
A technical dossier that has been on the tables of the government, the Milan-Cortina foundation and also the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since yesterday. How will the choice be made? Apart from the “right of first refusal” of the cities and regions that host the games and are part of the Milan-Cortina foundation, one of the main criteria for the decision that will be taken in the control room on Tuesday at Palazzo Chigi will be that of sustainability economy, as Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and Sports Minister Andrea Abodi explained at the end of the Venice summit.
The challenge between Milan and Turin must then be included in an overall revaluation of the expenses for the construction of Olympic sites and infrastructures, linked to the increase in the cost of raw materials. In fact, on Tuesday, the outcome of the monitoring of extra costs will be analyzed first of all, which began at the end of January when Salvini hypothesized an average increase of thirty percent. And the additional money – necessary to complete the works and to respect the times defined with the IOC – will have to be provided by the State.
If this is the game scheme, then saving public funds is also a must to avoid any political controversy. And based on a simple economic assessment, redeveloping the Lingotto Oval is more convenient. In the dossier prepared by the Municipality and the Piedmont region, the starting point is a reconstruction of the costs necessary for the conversion of the Oval. The estimated cost, at least according to those familiar with the dossier, is a maximum of five million. A quarter of what should be spent on the Rho Fiere pavilion, at least according to the reconstruction of the Sole 24 Ore. Other sources who have seen the project speak instead of 25 million. And on the table, in addition to the possible savings, there could also be a possible proposal to reduce the costs charged to the state. According to qualified sources, in fact, the Piedmont region could bear part of the costs. Moreover, the construction costs of the covered stadium of Baselga di Piné, before the renunciation, had been taken over by the province of Trento.
The Turin dossier also contains the solutions to possible requests on transport, the reception of athletes, Olympic delegations and even spectators, who could arrive from the IOC. The use of shuttles from Milan with a stop at the Lingotto would have been hypothesized. The Municipality and the Region would have collected the availability of all the subjects interested in this issue, starting with Trenitalia. —
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