A tight, two-way race to host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games emerged Friday with the release of GamesBids.com’s BidIndex, the de facto standard formula for rating Olympic bids throughout their campaigns. The newly released ratings clearly illustrate a wide gap between the frontrunners and a bid with lots of catching up to do before the final vote in July 2011.
Separated by a mere 1/8 of a point, the scores of the top two applicants are so close it’s a virtual tie at the applicant stage of this campaign. PyeongChang, South Korea holds the slight lead scoring 62.62 over Munich, Germany with 62.49. Annecy, France – the only other contender in the race is over 10 points back at 51.44.
BidIndex is a mathematical model developed by GamesBids.com that when applied to an Olympic Bid, produces a number that can be used to rate a bid relative to past successful bids – and possibly gauge its potential success. Sochi’s winning 2014 bid had a final BidIndex score of 63.17 while Rio de Janeiro’s winning 2016 Olympic bid scored 61.42.
The initial results are based on information included in the bids’ application files as well as other geographical, political and economic background considerations – however there are still many more bid fundamentals that will be incorporated into the scores during the months to come that could dramatically impact the results.
This is PyeongChang’s third consecutive bid after narrowly losing on the final ballot for 2010 and 2014 – and the IOC often rewards persistance – giving the Korean resort town a boost. But a well developed concept, a compact venue plan and a lot of goodwill from promises kept in previous campaigns are more compelling reasons to push the bid past the finsih line first this time around.
PyeongChang started their 2010 campaign well back in the field, scoring as low as 40.44 at one point – but as the town’s plans developed and IOC reaction was revealed, the bid skyrocketed and finished the campaign at 60.05, barely losing to Vancouver in the final round of IOC voting by three votes. For 2014, PyeongChang led BidIndex most of the way only to lose on votes to upstart Sochi on the final ballot.
This is Munich’s first Winter Games bid – the city hosted the Summer Games in 1972 and hopes to be the first-ever city to be a Summer and Winter Olympic host. Getting off to a good start, the bid has built a strong team of sports professionals and Olympic champions – and a strong infrastructure is in place with promise of a unique new legacy.
Annecy has been petitioning for a nomination from the French Olympic Committee for years – and that finally came last year when the region defeated other domestic rivals. However, now the bid is off to a slow start and there are many gaps when compared to successful past bidders. The French bid boasts many historical world-class venues but the overall concept needs some development.
But don’t count Annecy out just yet – as mentioned earlier, PyeongChang was able to make up almost 20 points in its 2010 campaign as the bid’s concept and plans evolved throughout the process.
BidIndex is not intended to rate the bids based solely on technical quality, but on how the bids will perform based on IOC voting patterns. History has proven that the best technical bids often do not win but other factors such as geo-politics usually have a significant impact.
Before you draw any conclusions keep in mind that the race has barely begun and only about 25% of the information needed by BidIndex is available. Results of two evaluation reports and additional data will be needed to complete the BidIndex analysis which will be updated frequently before the Host City Election to be held in Durban, South Africa on July 6, 2011.
Full BidIndex details can be found on the BidIndex results page or contact BidIndex@GamesBids.com for more information.
Annecy – 51.44
Munich – 62.49
PyeongChang – 62.62