Palats Sportu, the venue for the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest, is said to be 70% ready for this years contest. Viktor Tkachenko, managing director of the venue, said so. In a remarkable quote regarding thet light and sound equipment: “If three tons are hanged in an unreliable place, the venue might collapse”. Ukrainian News reported that.
Palats Sportu, also known as Sports Palace, is 70% ready. “Without a doubt we will manage to fulfill all demands of the European Broadcasting Union”, Tkachenko said. The EBU demands a minimum capacity for a certain number of guests, commentators, journalists and load capacity.
A total of 50 commentator boxes have been installed along the perimeters of the fourth floor. Meanwhile, the ceiling on the second floor has been replaced and at the moment the air conditioning system is being replaced.
Still a lot to do
Initially, the idea was to remove the fountain in front of the venue to place a press tent. At this moment, the idea is to turn the gymnastics hall into a press centre and the choreography room into a place for cosmetics and hair dressing. Meanwhile, furniture is being replaced, double-glazing windows installed, floor mats laid down, sanitary facilities reconstructed, granite and marble repaired and if that isn't enough for a proper Eurovision Song Contest, even the swimming pool will undergo a revamp. By the 20th of April, all the reconstruction work has to be finished to give stage constructors, light riggers and the so-called 'noise boys' (sound) some space to do their work.
Palats Sportu to collapse?
Tkachenko emphasized that the Palats Sportu has not received the hall plan from NTU yet. Also, the areas for hanging up 40 tons of sound and lightening equipment on the metal structures of the roof have not been determined yet. “If three tons of equipement are hanged in an unreliable place, Palats Sportu might collapse”, Tkachenko said.
A scenario that isn't likely to happen as professional engineers of lightning company Spectra+ are trained to think twice before they hang something. It rather shows a clear, public request to NTU to come up with a plan. Earlier this year, Eurovision Song Contest supervisor Svante Stockselius told esctoday.com that the roof of Palats Sportu is made from former bridge elements. “It's capable to carry even more than neccesary”, he said.
Palats Sportu is ready to welcome 10,000 spectators, but due to the space required for the stage, camera's, control desks and backstage facilities, the total capacity will be around 5,250 people. Ticket sale starts, as reported earlier, on 21st March through eurovision.tv.
Increase of the budget
The Cabinet of Ministers plans to increase financing from the state budget for the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest by approximately UAH 40-70 million to UAH 70-100 million. That's a raise of approximately EUR 6-10 million.