The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Future Host Summer Commission has designated Brisbane as the “preferred candidate city” to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games, a decision endorsed unanimously by the IOC’s executive board.
- The Brisbane bid committee will enter detailed discussions with the IOC about hosting the 2032 Summer Games
- While the move puts Brisbane in front of other bids the Host Commission chair says it is “not a done deal”
- Australian athletes have historically achieved their best results at Olympic events in Australia
The news was delivered by IOC president Thomas Bach during a press conference in Switzerland.
“We have unanimously after a very intense discussion approved this recommendation,” Mr Bach said.
“The commission based on this decision will start more detailed discussions with the Brisbane 2032 committee and the Australian Olympic Committee about their potential to host the Olympic Games 2032.”
The IOC will now move discussions to a targeted dialogue followed by final negotiations with the city then elected at a future IOC session, likely within the next year.
If those discussions are successful from both sides and Brisbane meets the requirements then it will be named the host city and Brisbane would become the third Australian city to host the Summer Games after Melbourne (1956) and Sydney (2000).
Chair of the Future Host Summer Commission, Kristin Kloster Aasen, said Brisbane and Australia had been selected over other cities that had shown interest — such as Doha, Budapest, Istanbul, Jakarta, New Delhi and St Petersburg — due to its past experience in hosting high-level sporting events.
“The reason for us recommending the Brisbane project is they are a very advanced project and there are a number of criteria that sit really well with us,” Ms Aasen said.
“The high level of expertise in hosting major international sports events, the favourable climate conditions in July and August.
“The existing and planned transport infrastructure and experience in traffic management which can adequately meet the demands of the Olympic Games and were successfully implemented for the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
“The existing hotel inventory, which also meets the Games requirements.”
Asked why Australians simply should not just celebrate immediately, Ms Aasen said Brisbane still had a few more hoops to jump through.
“It takes the Australian project into a dialogue and [then it’s] depending on the outcome and recommendation we might give to the executive board to put Brisbane forward,” she said.
“It’s not a done deal, if you know what I mean, but it is a promise made today in terms of clarification.”
If Brisbane is eventually approved by the full IOC membership, it would cap the second straight unconventional bidding process for the Summer Games.
In 2017, Paris and Los Angeles were awarded the 2024 and 2028 editions, respectively, at the same time when the IOC changed its rules mid-contest to allow a double award.
The process was changed again in 2019 to speed up selection for the 2032 games.
The IOC created panels for each of the Summer and Winter Games to enter into rolling dialogue with possible candidates, and to even approach bidders.
The panels can recommend a host that may now be picked without a contested vote.
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) chief John Coates, who is also deputy chair of the IOC, excused himself when the Future Host Summer Commission presented its report and when the IOC made its announcement to the world’s media via video stream.
“[The decision] is in compliance with the rules that were passed unanimously in 2019,” Mr Bach said.
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