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Could a Cheaper Olympic Bidding Process Lure New Interest?

26 Jul, 2017

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

There are many reasons – and theories – as to why cities are making such an exodus from bidding on the Olympics, but they all tend to go back to money. And the IOC, it appears, is listening.

Recently, it announced plans for a shorter and cheaper candidature process for cities interested in bidding on the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The plan will take effect with the 2026 Winter Games (the first one that will follow the summer Games to be presented in either Paris or Los Angeles.)

According to an article in Inside The Games, the IOC is working on a process that will “reduce costs, simplify procedures and provide more assistance to national Olympic committees and cities.”

Included in the proposed reforms:

  • An invitation phase lasting a full year has been approved before the formal candidature phase is shortened from two years to one. (A report presented to the IOC Extraordinary Session suggested that the invitation period would last from September 2017 until October 2018.)

  • More communication from the IOC, whose officials would advise cities on whether they should move ahead with their bid.

  • An Olympic Winter Games 2026 Expert Working Group would be set up to manage this phase.

  • Demonstrating public support and clarifying referendums would be expected to be a key stage of the process.

  • The full IOC membership will then approve the candidates, for the first time, following an Executive Board recommendation.

In addition, the Winter Olympics have often been expensive to put on because few cities – even those that were winter sports areas – had appropriate tracks for bobsled, skeleton and luge and thus were required to build them. Under the new plan, if the candidate city lacked this structure, the closest existing facility would be used.

Discussion and finalization of these new measures are expected to take place between October 6-18, during the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

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