The FINA World Aquatics Championships held in Budapest can be regarded as a great success so far, according to Miklós Seszták, minister for National Development.
The minister, also chairman of the Organising Committee for the World Championships, highlighted that Hungary's “pride and joy” are the Danube Arena and the Dagály project because no facilities like these existed when it launched its bid to host the games.
Minister Seszták said that during the planning and construction of the facilities, much thought was put into how they would later be used. This was why they had not built a 12 thousand-seat permanent arena, but a 6500-seat facility, which will have lower maintenance costs.
He added that it is best to include a sports facility in a country’s development strategy in such a way that it can later be used again and the country knows it was worth it.
The possibility that Hungary would be awarded the right to host the 2024 FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships was taken into account when bulding the facilities to ensure no further development projects would be needed.
“We have succeeded, the World Championships will be held here according to FINA’s decision. ‘At the press of a button’, the 50 meter pool will become a 25 meter pool," he said.
“We have spent over 84 billion HUF (274.5M EUR) on developments, the results of which will remain in place for use by Hungarians and tourists alike."
The minister added that there is “no significant difference” between the “originally determined cost” and the current level of expenditure; a few billion forints which have partly arisen in view of security requirements and partly to successfully provide higher quality television coverage.