Olympic museum still eyed for Richmond oval

The largest collection of Olympic memorabilia can be found in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.  - Cesar Pics photo via Flickr
The largest collection of Olympic memorabilia can be found in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.
— image credit: Cesar Pics photo via Flickr

A proposal for an Olympic museum at the Richmond Olympic Oval is still in development—nearly six months after city officials pitched the idea to Games officials in Europe.

"We're working on developing the business case for it so we can take it forward for formal approval," said Ted Townsend, spokesperson for the city.

As first reported by The Richmond Review, the Richmond Olympic Oval Corporation is proposing to build an Olympic museum inside the oval at an estimated cost of $6 million.

On Monday, city staff updated civic politicians on post-Olympic conversion plans at the oval, but the report made no mention of a museum.

It did say staff are still working on the "Richmond Olympic Story," which director of project development Greg Scott noted has "(increased) in scope based on Olympic program review and best practices."

Last summer a delegation of oval and city officials successfully pitched its idea to International Olympic Committee brass in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dubbed "The Richmond Olympic Experience at the Richmond Olympic Oval," it would become the first museum in the Americas to join the International Olympic Committee's Olympic Museum Network, which centres around the IOC's Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

Early plans call for displays, activities, theatre and museum elements scattered throughout the building and oval plaza. Memorabilia from the IOC and Richmond's participation in the 2010 Games would comprise the collection.

The project builds on an existing plan to install a $575,000 permanent exhibition at the oval that tells Richmond's Olympic story.

Townsend earlier told The Review that no new city money would go into the bigger project. Instead, sponsors will finance it by contributing cash and in-kind donations.

The oval corporation board has already given the project preliminary approval, but city council has yet to have a vote.

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