alt Madrid’s new "Magic Box" tennis centre would be a stunning Olympic venue in 2016 if the Spanish capital is chosen to follow London, the General Assembly of the International Tennis Federation was told.


Speaking to more than 200 delegates representing 94 countries, Mercedes Coghen, the chief executive of Madrid's bid, tried to paint an exciting image to drum up support for their bid against Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.


She said: “The Magic Box is now the most modern tennis venue on the planet and is an architectural jewel.

“All this in a city where tennis is one of our most favourite sports.


"I am sure many of you have had the opportunity to visit the Madrid Open, the first of many major events to be held at La Caja Mágica to watch the best tennis players in the world."


Designed by France's Dominique Perrault, it has three main courts which each has a retractable roof to allow simultaneous play in all weathers, 16 outdoor courts, five indoor courts, six training courts and an indoor pool.

The largest arena seats 12,500 spectators.


Spread over 20 hectares in the south of Madrid, the "Magic Box" took three years to build at a cost of 150 million euros (£129 million).

Like the "Water Cube" in China that was used as the 2008 Olympic swimming venue, the "Magic Box" uses poly-bicarbonate walls that allow for a "see-through" effect.

Perrault said he dubbed the venue the "Magic Box" because the retractable roofs make it appear like the mirrored boxes used by magicians.

Coghen said: “Madrid is a city that lives with a passion for sport and we are just two months away from knowing the final decision on which city will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016.

"We are eager to be able to host the all the Olympic family in seven years time in our great city.


"Our project for the Games of the People will create a new model of living together through the values of Olympic sport, making this a fundamental part of the life of everyone.


"This is the legacy that we can offer the world.

"We have a compact project, designed by and for athletes.


"We have the best venues of which 77 per cent are already prepared or in the construction phase.


"We are the safest option in these difficult times of world economic crisis, since the investment yet to be achieved is minimal. 93.6 per cent of Spanish people firmly support the project and now we want to add the support of all the tennis federations.”


The International Olympic Committee are due to choose a host city for the 2016 Games at its Session in Copenhagen on October 2.