The Medal Plaza at the National Athletics Center, where there will be medal ceremonies and concerts and entertainment
The organization of Hungary’s biggest ever sporting event is in the final stretch, and everything is ready for the start, Ádám Schmidt, State Secretary for Sport and Government Commissioner for the World Athletics Championships, said on Saturday.
“In 168 hours from now, the World Championships will have a winner, a silver medalist and a bronze medalist. This is also a sign that the organization is on the home straight and everything is ready for the start of Hungary’s biggest sporting event ever,” stressed Ádám Schmidt at a press conference in the park of the National Athletics Center a week before the start of the World Championships. He also noted that the
World Championships would be more than just a sporting event, so there would be concerts and various programs from morning to night to keep everyone entertained.
The fans’ zone at the center. Photo via MTI/Máthé Zoltán
“More than a billion spectators will watch the events. (…) Over 300,000 tickets have been sold, the highest number of spectators ever for a sporting event in Hungary,” he emphasized. He also mentioned that
as a “legacy” of the event, the previously contaminated area will be transformed into a park and a running track after the World Cup.
Fact Between November 2020 and spring 2023, the National Athletic Center and its surroundings were completely renewed as a brownfield project, creating a reborn green park with wooded greenery on the site of the former industrial, polluted area. This part of the Danube bank was previously inaccessible due to polluting industrial activity, which also significantly degraded the water quality of Europe’s second longest river.
Balázs Németh, CEO of the organizing committee, Budapest 2023 Zrt, mentioned that the press center opened at 10 a.m. on Saturday, the athletes are arriving, the World Cup vans are touring the city and the world is already watching Budapest. On Tuesday, the training grounds will also open. The latest figures show that 102 foreign countries have already bought tickets, he said. He also added that
a price cap would be introduced in the stadium canteens and in the fans’ zone, half a liter of mineral water would cost 550 forints (EUR 1.43) and beer would be under a thousand forints (under EUR 2.61).
Balázs Németh stressed that thanks to the government’s support, they will be able to implement all their plans and “make the most of the World Cup”, including various entertainment and sports programs and prize draws to encourage everyone to take part in athletics and exercise.
A discounted public transport ticket, called VB2023, of HUF 2023 (EUR 5.28) is available for the World Athletics Championships, announced railway company, MÁV Zrt. on Saturday. The discount is only available for domestic rail travel in second class. In the case of buses providing an increased level of service, it can only be used in conjunction with a long-distance supplementary ticket.
Photo via MTI/Máthé Zoltán
What is more, Balázs Németh emphasized that
boat services will operate between Batthyány Square and the MÜPA boat station, from where the entrance to the National Athletics Center is only a short walk away.
The journey takes just 15 minutes. The CEO pointed out that the boat service is also important because parking will be extremely limited near the World Championships venue.
“This will be a green World Cup, so we did not want to pave over the Danube bank to build parking lots,” pointed out Balázs Németh, who recommends public transport for spectators. He added that on the days of the races, there will be shuttle services to and from the events. They will normally follow each other every 30-40 minutes, but if demand increases, the schedule will be compressed. The price of a ticket is HUF 1,500 (EUR 3.91), allowing an unlimited number of trips between Batthyány Square and the MÜPA boat station on a given day.
Via MTI, Featured photo via MTI/Máthé Zoltán