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Russia struggles to find uses for Sochi Olympic venues

Russia's massive sports complex left over from the Sochi Olympics remains a financial burden
Three arenas at Sochi were designed to be dismantled and moved, but no city wants them

Russian officials have yet to come up with any answers for an increasingly tough question: What to do with the massive sports complex left over from the 2014 Sochi Olympics?

With the situation worsening, the regional government has exempted the sports venues and new hotels from property tax for two years.

"Neither state-funded nor privately funded Olympic venues can generate income, so it would be impossible for them to pay the tax," a Sochi consultant told the Moscow Times. "They would be subsidized by the government in one way or another anyway." 

Russia set an Olympic record by spending an estimated $51 billion-plus on the Games. In addition to arenas and hotels, the government built extensive roads and railways.

There are plans to host a Formula One race in Sochi in the fall. Hockey and soccer teams might occupy two of the venues in coming years and the alpine ski courses can be converted into tourist resorts.

Three arenas were designed to be dismantled and moved, but have yet to find a city that wants them.

The Russian news agency R-Sport has reported an exodus of skilled staff from many of the venues.

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