The Austrian Olympic Committee (ÖOC) along with the Innsbruck Municipal Council have selected a joint tender to develop a feasibility study assessing a bid to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.
According to local reports a six-member jury unanimously chose a joint venture involving Olympic veterans Pro Projekt AS + P along with the regional project partners Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) and Solid Event Management and Consulting GmbH.
The cost of the study will be 270,000 euros, below the original estimate of 350,000 euros budgeted in October, and will be funded by the ÖOC, the City of Innsbruck and the Government of Austria.
After the ÖOC decided in October to study a possible Games bid, tenders were opened and several national and international firms submitted tenders. Four applicants on a shortlist were interviewed before the Pro Projekt joint venture was selected. The group has vast Olympic planning experience including with Olympic bids from Leipzig 2012, Munich 2018, Almaty 2022 and, before a referendum rejected the campaign last year, Hamburg 2024.
The group also has a strong connection with the regional infrastructure that will be part of an Innsbruck and Tyrol Olympic bid. Innsbruck hosted the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games in 1964 and 1976.
Innsbruck’s mayor Christine Oppitz-Plörer said to local media “the feasibility study serves as an objective decision-making base for a long-term decision which, in addition to sporting, also requires a young, modern, cultural framework.”
“It is about showing the conditions and necessities and preparing them professionally.
“I am convinced that we have found an ideal partner with this bidding community.”
ÖOC President Karl Stoss said “Innsbruck stands for winter sports competence and has excellent references and a lot of experience with the Olympic Games 1964 and 1976 as well as the Olympic Youth Winter Games 2012.”
“In addition, the Olympic venues are state-of-the-art and always in demand for hosting major international sporting events.
“The IOC has signaled with the Agenda 2020 that one would like to get away from the ‘gigantomania’ of recent years and in the future wants games that are more tangible and closer to the people. The prerequisites of Innsbruck are very good with a solid base of existing and tried and tested.”
With the 2018 Games to be staged in PyeongChang, South Korea – two straight Winter Olympics in Asia will open the window wide for a return to Europe in 2026. Serious interest in bidding for the 2026 Games has already been expressed by Stockholm, Sweden and four regions in Switzerland – as well as Calgary, Canada and 2022 bid runner-up Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Applications to bid for the Games will be accepted by the IOC late in 2017 and the host city will be elected at an IOC all-members session in 2019.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.