Tokyo Continues to Lead Tight Race:'s BidIndex

The latest release of’s BidIndex reveals that a tight, stable race has developed for the 2016 Olympic Games. All four candidates have achieved scores that show they have the fundamentals to win the Olympic bid.

This update is the first since the submission to the IOC of the candidates’ bid books – detailed three-volume six-hundred page plans describing how they will organize the Olympic Games should they be chosen to host. BidIndex encompasses an intense evaluation of these plans as well as other important information regarding the bids and the bid process.

Frontrunner Tokyo maintains a slightly reduced lead over Rio de Janeiro while both improved their overall scores. Tokyo received 61.41 (up 0.19) and Rio scored 59.95 (up 0.22 – the fastest riser); very marginal changes for this stage of the race showing consistency in their campaigns.

Chicago recorded the only BidIndex decline since the last update in November allowing Madrid to leapfrog ahead into third. Both are very close to the leaders and remain important factors in the race. Madrid scored 58.73 (up 0.10) while Chicago tallied 58.37 (down 0.41).

“This is an exceptional race. For 2016, BidIndex hasn’t revealed any clear division between the candidates. It seems that all four bids are equally qualified to come in first – as well as last place in the voting”, explained Producer Robert Livingstone.

For the previous 2012 Summer Games bid, BidIndex scores clearly illustrated a division between the frontrunners London and Paris (London beat Paris on the final ballot) and also-rans New York and Moscow (both eliminated on early ballots) – reflecting reality.

While hundreds of factors are combined to determine a city’s BidIndex, Chicago’s recent decline could be blamed in part on record-high estimates for sponsorships, especially during the current economic crisis when sports sponsorships are on the decline. This combined with the fact that Chicago is the only candidate without 100% public government guarantees, might make the city a tough choice for the cautious.

Additionally, the recent reshuffling of United States Olympic Committee leadership might leave an IOC member or two feeling alienated in a campaign where personal relationships are extremely powerful. It’s likely that ballots will be won or lost on margins of just one or two votes.

Tokyo continues to portray an enticing athlete focused and compact plan. The bid is building momentum through increased public support and developing awareness of the potential of sports television and sponsorship markets in Asia. However, the IOC might be hesitant to send the games back to Asia so soon after Beijing.

Rio continues to play the sympathy card – asking the IOC to send the Games to South America for the very first time. This remains Rio’s greatest strength.

But despite a successful 2007 Pan Am Games and preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Rio has planned huge infrastructure expenditures should they win the bid – billions of dollars above the rest of the candidates. If anything, perhaps the IOC will see this as prudent refreshing honesty amid monumental cost overruns seen while organizing the Games in Athens, Beijing, Vancouver and London.

Madrid has an excellent fundamental bid built on experience gained from an almost successful 2012 bid. Touting itself as a safe choice the bid team has emphasized its financial guarantees, use of existing venues and experience. But perhaps most importantly, the bid is trying to establish a personal sense of trust. By covering the bid book chapters with whimsical portraits of typical Spanish citizens, and printing the names of bid book contributors across the cover of the three volumes – the bid team has shown that they have a personal stake in the project.

Madrid’s Bid CEO Mercedes Coghen said it best; “This dossier embodies our DNA”.

BidIndex is a mathematical model developed by 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. London’s winning 2012 bid had a final BidIndex score of 65.07 while Sochi’s winning 2014 Winter Games bids scored 63.17.

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.

The latest results have been released prior to SportAccord – an important meeting of Sports Federations and Olympic Committees to be held in Denver, Colorado this week. The bids will have an opportunity to present to delegates and liaise with important decision makers.

Full BidIndex results are available by clicking here.

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BidIndex Results

Tokyo: 61.41 (up 0.19)
Rio: 59.95 (up 0.22)
Madrid: 58.73 (up 0.10)
Chicago: 58.37 (down 0.41)