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Saturday, September 16, 2000
Authorities close down entertainment venue because of broken glass

 SYDNEY (AP) -- Olympic authorities said Saturday they were forced to close their busiest downtown entertainment venue after it became littered with broken glass.

 Nobody was injured as a result of smashed bottles and glasses strewn over Martin Place, a city square close to Sydney's major bank buildings.

 On Saturday, officials warned members of the public that security personnel would confiscate any glass brought to the six Olympics Live Sites dotted throughout central Sydney.

 "For the safety and comfort of all guests at Olympics Live Sites, any glass taken to ... sites will be confiscated," said David Richmond, director general of Sydney 2000, the games' organizing committee.

 "It is understandable that people want to enjoy themselves, but we will not allow a small minority to spoil the occasion for spectators and performers alike," Richmond warned.

 The live sites feature stages where bands and other performers play and giant screens broadcast Olympic events. On Friday night, the screens were showing the spectacular opening ceremony for the 2000 Games.

 Organizers said more than 50,000 people visited the various live sites on Friday night.

 The Martin Place site was closed down at midnight -- two hours early -- because of safety fears.

 Police reported only two arrests among the crowds, both for assaults.

 Martin Place was busy again Saturday, with live bands entertaining hundreds of people and a women's water polo match being shown on the giant screen.

 The square had clearly been swept since Friday night, but there was still a large amount of broken glass in cracks between paving stones.

 There was not a single arrest by police at the main Olympic site, Homebush Bay, on Friday night where more than 100,000 people crowded into the main stadium to watch the opening ceremony.

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