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Paris unveils its only inner-city venue built specially for the Olympics

Paris officials have inaugurated the first – and only – purpose-built venue within the French capital for this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Adidas Arena at Porte de la Chapelle – among the poorest areas in Paris – is ready and "operational" about five months before the Games begin, organisers said on Sunday.

The venue will host badminton and rhythmic gymnastics events during the 2024 Olympics, as well as Paralympic badminton and weightlifting events.

The Paris council has hailed the new venue as a sign of both the city's readiness and its commitment to use the sporting mega-event to revitalise neglected neighbourhoods.

The organisers deliberately opted against constructing as many purpose-built buildings as other Olympic host cities have.

The main construction work for 2024 includes the Olympic Village, which will house about 15,000 athletes and officials, and a new swimming pool. Both are located outside Paris city limits in the northern suburbs.

Room for 8,000

The new arena, which can host up to 8,000 spectators, cost some €138 million to build.

It bears the Adidas name through a lucrative partnership with the German sportswear brand, which is said to be worth approximately €2.8 million per year.

Officials say it is also a symbol of the city's desire to host a "sustainable" Olympics, having been built with recycled materials and featuring a green roof.

It will be the first arena of its kind in France to have a "sensory room" for people suffering from cognitive disorders.

(with AP)


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