The five cities in the hunt to host the 2024 Olympic Games will still need to qualify as a candidate through short-list style vetting if they hope to be successful, despite earlier International Olympic Committee (IOC) claims that short-listing was removed from the process.
In August the International Olympic Committee announced sweeping changes to the Olympic bid process in order closely align it with the new Agenda 2020 reforms on affordability and sustainability and those changes included the removal of the applicant and candidate phases in favour of theme-based phases. That meant there would be no separate “questionnaire” evaluation for applicants that was used by the IOC Executive Board to score the bids and qualify them as candidates to move forward.
That also meant that all bids, even if a large field, could end up on the final ballot when the IOC membership elects the winner, possibly causing logistical challenges and mathematical anomalies that could impair the final balloting.
On Wednesday the IOC released documents outlining the new bid process that identify two dates when a city, based on evaluations, can be “deferred to a later campaign” – jargon indicating that the bid would be eliminated from the 2024 race.
The new step that appears twice in the schedule – for June and December 2016 – is described as the “IOC Executive Board confirmation of Candidate Cities that transition to the next stage.”
A specific recommendation may be made by the Evaluation Commission Working Group to defer a city’s candidature to a later campaign. Such cities would leave the Candidature Process Olympic Games 2024 and all rights would cease for those not selected. In such cases, a debrief between the IOC and the Candidate City/Cities/NOC(s) concerned would take place to further assist them/define future goals. Ongoing support would be provided by the IOC. – IOC Document
At the end of each phase, each bid will go through a test to see if it qualifies for the next phase. If successful they will need to pay a further bid fee to the IOC (USD $50 thousand in June and USD$150 thousand in December) in order to move forward. If not, the bid can pack up and go home.
Under the old process the IOC published the results of the initial evaluation results, along with scores that supported the short list decision. The new process, according to the document, doesn’t include published reports to support the “deferring” decision, making the whole process a little less transparent. The Evaluation Commission, however, will provide the Executive Board with a dashboard report.
These new rules give the smaller IOC Executive Board more control over what cities will be presented to the general membership for election.
And it seems that the IOC already did some vetting of its own during the new invitation stage that concluded Tuesday. IOC President Thomas Bach said that Baku, Azerbaijan had expressed interest in bidding but instead the IOC recommended that the city waits until the 2028 bid when it might be better prepared.
Some other key dates that were announced are:
Candidature Process kick-off meeting with each Candidate City & NOC (by video conference): 23–25 September 2015
Deadline for the submission by Candidate Cities of: Candidature File Part 1: Vision, Games Concept and Strategy: 17 February 2016
Deadline for the submission by Candidate Cities of: Candidature File Part 2: Governance, Legal and Venue Funding: 7 October 2016
Deadline for the submission by Candidate Cities of: Candidature File Part 3: Games Delivery, Experience and Venue Legacy: 3 February 2017
Publication of the Evaluation Commission Report: July 2017 (date TBC)
Election of the Host City 2024, Lima, Peru: September 2017 (date TBC)