Following Sochi Games, Azerbaijan's President Aliyev Visits New Olympic Stadium Site as Preparations for First European Games in Baku Gather Momentum

BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

- Azerbaijan leader pledges high quality Games, and gives go-ahead for rapid transformation of historic lake area to boost environmental, social, and employment benefits from Games

- "We want to provide the best possible venues and theatres of sport for the finest athletes of Europe at the Baku First European Games," the President said.

The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, has visited the Olympic Stadium under construction for the historic first European Games in Baku next year, highlighting his personal commitment to Europe's first multi-sport event, and overseeing preparations for the Games.

     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140303/673378-a )

     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140303/673378-b )

President Aliyev inspected progress on the landmark 65,000 seat Main stadium, regarded as one of the most innovative and advanced sporting stadiums in the world currently under construction.

The President said he was pleased with the rapid development of the stadium, which will welcome and bid farewell to athletes from across Europe in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Baku 2015 Games in June next year.

The stadium is one of 21 Games stadia and facilities described as among the most spectacular assembled for a major sporting event.

"We want to provide the best possible venues and theatres of sport for the finest athletes of Europe at the Baku Games," the President said.

The President said he was impressed and inspired by the achievements of the athletes at the Sochi Games. "The magic and inspiration of athletes competing in spectacular venues unites people and inspires the youth, as we saw at Sochi."

The President's visit to the Main Stadium highlights the national and international significance for the Baku 2015 Games, which will feature athletes from all 49 Olympic nations of Europe.

The Azerbaijan Minister for Youth and Sport, Azad Rahimov, who accompanied the President to the stadium, said the Baku Games organisers were working closely with the European Olympic Committee and President Patrick Hickey to stage a memorable first European Games in Baku, which will also serve as a qualifying event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 

"The Baku Games will feature innovative sporting formats, fields of play and settings that will help to keep Europe at the forefront of sporting excellence and innovation, and unite people across Europe in a passionate celebration of the athletes and sport," the Minister said.

The President said the Azerbaijan Government is using major infrastructure projects to support the Games and improve social, economic, and environmental conditions for Azerbaijan communities.

These included the restoration of Baku's historic Lake Boyuk Shor and redevelopment of the surrounding areas, with a new waterfront setting, promenade, roads and bridge to better connect the area with the rest of the city, and boosting living conditions and opportunities for residents in local neighbourhoods as part of a vision to turn the capital into one of the world's most beautiful and comfortable cities.

"The objective of the project is to improve the environmental, ecological and aesthetic condition of Lake Boyuk Shor in such a way that the lake has added value for the area in the future and, for the European Games and visitors," the President said.

About Baku 2015, the first European Games

Baku 2015 will be the first European Games and will involve more than 5,400 competitors, from the 49 Olympic nations of Europe, across 19 sports. The Games are owned, organised, and regulated by the European Olympic Committees (EOC). They were created at the EOC General Assembly on 9th December 2012 in Rome, Italy, when the overwhelming majority of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Europe voted for the creation of the European Games. It was at this General Assembly that the NOCs awarded the inaugural Games, again by overwhelming majority, to the city of Baku, Azerbaijan. For more information visit http://www.baku2015.com

*** Please Note: B Roll Video footage of the Azerbaijan President visiting the new Main Stadium construction site in Baku for the Baku 2015 first European Games can be accessed by AP subscribers via the methods above. Non-Subscribers can download the video material via the AP website via AP assignments and then Multimedia newsroom

WEBSITEhttp://www.apassignments.com/multimedia-newsroom  (AP and non-AP clients)

*** PLEASE NOTE: Design images of the Main stadium can also be accessed by visiting the Baku2015.com website homepage and clicking on the Venues section and going to Olympic Stadium in the Village Cluster venues group

For up-to-the-minute information on the European Games Baku 2015 and regular updates, please see:

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/baku2015

YouTube http://www.youtube.com/baku2015

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/BakuGames2015

Google+ https://www.google.com/+Baku2015

SOURCE Baku 2015




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