Radical changes to how cities will bid to host the Olympic Games were ushered in on Monday as International Olympic Committee members took bold steps to revamp their movement.
IOC makes bidding easier, cheaper for Games city hopefuls
Sweeping changes to the bidding process were unanimously approved, making it easier and cheaper for host city hopefuls.
The vote kick-started a Monaco meeting of more than 100 IOC members which promises to drive change and innovation among the kingpins of global sport.
The changes to the bidding process include allowing hosts to stage some Olympic events in other cities, and even countries.
“The compactness of the Games has to be weighed up against the benefit of using existing venues,” Australian John Coates told his fellow members at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum.
“These changes do contemplate different cities and countries hosting the Games, and this is for reasons of sustainability,” added Coates, who led a working group looking at the bid process.
Eager to avoid a situation such as happened in the 2022 Winter Games campaign where four of six candidates dropped out in mid-race over financial concerns, denting the Games’ reputation as a lucrative project, the IOC voted unanimously to adopt the recommendations.
The changes are aimed at reducing the cost of bidding and allow candidates to integrate the Olympics into their city plans rather than the other way round.
Changes also include an invitation phase where potential candidates can first discuss plans with the IOC before deciding whether to launch a campaign to stage the Games. This will avoid a repeat of the 2022 debacle.
Cities have spent close to $100 million on campaigns aimed at wooing IOC members to give them the honour of staging the Summer Olympics.
“We have all gathered here to lead this change in sport,” IOC president Thomas Bach told members as he opened the 127th Session on Sunday night. If we do not address these challenges here and now we will be hit by them very soon. If we do not drive these changes ourselves, others will drive us to them. We want to be the leaders of change in sport, not the object.”