IOC Streamlines Games Bidding Process in Monaco

December 9, 2014

By Christian Radnedge

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made fundamental changes to the bidding process for the Olympic Games as part of other modifications to the movement on Monday.

President Thomas Bach’s Agenda 2020 review included 40 proposals which were all unanimously approved at the IOC congress in Monte Carlo.

Among those of particular interest to the wider sports business world were the changes to the bidding process which has come in for criticism in the past for being too long, remedy too demanding and most of all too costly.

But now the IOC have approved to adopt recommendations to make the bidding process more tailored to an individual project, pills rather than being a one-size-fits-all model.

Also, an invitation phase will now be included which allows potential candidates to explore hosting plans with the IOC before ultimately deciding on whether to bid for a Games or not.

Host cities will also be allowed to stage events in other cities or even other countries in a bold move by the organisation.

On a historic day for the Olympic movement, Bach was proud of what he had achieved after just spending around 15 months in the job as president.

“No. Even in my wildest dreams I would not have expected this,” Bach told reporters after the overwhelmingly positive session.

“It showed the great determination of the members for these reforms to make it happen, to make this progress. That it would go like this was a very positive surprise.

“Some of the recommendations were not easy to swallow. This made this day so special and encouraging when it came to the vote regardless of their own interest, their own position, they were determined to make this Agenda 2020 a success.”

The news will be of particular interest to those interested in hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics, of which there are many.

Following the Tokyo 2020 Games the movement could be set to return to Europe where Paris, Saint Petersburg, Rome, Berlin, Baku and many others are all understood to be interested in bidding.

They will follow stiff competition from a US bid – next week the United States Olympic Committee will decide on which city out of Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington they want to put forward as a candidate city.

A number of candidates from Africa and Qatar are also reported to be interested meaning the invitation phase in 2015 could see an unprecedented number of candidates come forward.

That will be in stark contrast to the 2022 Winter Olympic bidding race in which four candidates dropped out because of financial constraints. The race is between just two cities; Almaty and Beijing.

However Stefan Lindeberg, president of the Swedish national Olympic committee, last month said Stockholm would not have dropped out, had the changes been made earlier.

Now that they have been approved, Lindeberg will be comfortable with his pledge that Stockholm will bid for the 2026 Winter Games.

So too will the IOC.