The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session Wednesday approved sweeping changes to the the Olympic bid process, effectively eliminating the carefully orchestrated head-to-head competition to instead create a more thoughtful, selective and hidden site selection.
Members unanimously agreed to a set of Olympic Charter changes that reduce the restrictions around site selection and require the appointment of Future Host Commissions, one for the Summer and one for the Winter edition of the Olympics and Youth Olympics, to replace the former Evaluation Commissions.
Now, host cities can be named at any time for future Games, and host contracts will be signed strategically when cities and the IOC agree its time to commit.
Future Host Commissions will be comprised of experts from among IOC members and other experts, including a representative from the Paralympics.
The proposals were drafted be a special IOC working group led by Australian IOC Vice President John Coates along with four other members.
According to an IOC statement, “The IOC Members will continue to be at the centre of the decision-making process, with the Session’s prerogative to elect Games hosts preserved. The Members will be consulted on numerous occasions, and prospective hosts will still be required to make presentations to the Session, which will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.
Approved Olympic Charter Changes June 26, 2019
DATE OF ELECTION
– Previous regulation: “election takes place 7 years before the […] Games” (OC, 33.2)
– Previous regulation: “The Olympic Games are entrusted […] to a city” (OC, 32.2)
Change: Entrusted to a City in principle. The EB can determine that “Host” can also refer to other entities, e.g. multiple cities, regions and/or countries.
– Previous regulation: “All sports competitions […] must, in principle, take place in the host city (OC, 34) / “the OCOG shall provide an Olympic Village” (OC, 38)
Change: Allow for more flexibility to maximise the use of existing sports or other infrastructure.
– Previous regulation: “The President appoints an Evaluation Commission for candidate cities for each edition of the Olympic Games” (OC, 33)
Change: Introduction of two Future Host Commissions.
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.