Reporting from Lima Convention Center in Peru – With this week’s double-allocation of the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games being considered a “win-win-win” success among all stakeholders, the question of whether the same model could be applied to future bids has become a topic of discussion whispered behind the scenes at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Lima.
With attentions shifting next to the bid for the 2026 Winter Games that, for the first time, will be an evolving and collaborative process – the ability to make double-awarding a more common part of bidding is within reach.
The Paris and LA tripartite agreement that made the simultaneous awarding of the Games possible was allowed under the Olympic Charter because it was considered an “exceptional circumstance,” and in that case awarding a Games more than seven years out is permitted. But does that rule out the possibility for ’26 and ’30, with that opportunity being less exceptional?
“Let us see how it goes.” IOC President Thomas Bach said at a Friday press conference when asked by GamesBids.com.
“I guess we will in a couple of months we will know more and better what the real potential is and what [the bids’] intentions are,” Bach continued.
“It also depends very much on the candidates. If Paris and LA would have said ‘okay it’s only about ’24’ then there would have been no solution. It’s too early to tell.”
To date only Sion in Switzerland has said it would submit an application when the IOC begins accepting them next year following a one-year “dialogue phase.”
Calgary in Canada, Innsbruck in Austria and Stockholm in Sweden have also been discussing possible bids with the IOC. On Friday, Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala said he is considering a bid, but barriers exist.
Sion 2026 President Jean-Philippe Rochat, when asked by GamesBids.com about the idea said “of course we would consider it.”
“I have a hard time imagining such a specific situation with two fantastic candidatures like we had for Summer Olympics but of course this is something we certainly would consider.”
“I personally feel that this kind of consensus is probably a right way for avoiding those permanent problems of votation, of corruption.
“Those kinds of solutions are very good solutions for sports, and if it goes to reduce the costs, I believe we would certainly consider it.
“If between Innsbruck, Calgary or other bids, some come and its suddenly appears in one or two years there are two strong bids and one should choose 2026 and the other 2030, why not?”
Innsbruck faces a binding referendum on the bid next month and Sion will face that same challenge late next year. Calgary’s city council is split on supporting the project but municipal elections in October could decide the balance either way.
American cities including Denver, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas have been buzzing about entering the contest but it’s unlikely that the United States Olympic Committee would support such an idea with Los Angeles due to host the Summer Games two-years later.
The winning city will be elected at an IOC Session in Milan 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.