EFERio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes on Friday handed over management of the Olympic Park to Brazil's federal Sports Ministry after a failed effort to attract a private bidder to operate the sporting facilities.

The mayor's office had pledged to award the rights to manage the Olympic facilities to a private company for 25 years to ensure public funds would not be used to cover high maintenance costs.

But due to a lack of interest, the Brazilian government has taken over management of facilities including the Carioca Arena 1 and 2 indoor stadiums, the Velodrome, the Olympic Tennis Center, and the Aquatics Stadium, although the latter will be dismantled because another Olympic-sized pool is located very nearby.

Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani said at a ceremony Friday that the entire Olympic Park would be transformed into a sports/recreation area, as well as a training ground for elite athletes.