The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will hold a special Executive Board meeting June 9 in Lausanne to discuss two new reports on the Olympic bid process – one which could establish a road map to the joint awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games in September this year.
The meeting, to be held almost exactly one month ahead of an all-members Candidate City Briefing by 2024 Olympic bid cities Los Angeles and Paris, could set the parameters around the joint award that might conceivably be ratified by the membership during a vote on July 11 or 12 in the Olympic Capital.
A panel of four IOC Vice presidents including Australia’s John Coates, Turkey’s Uğur Erdener, China’s Yu Zaiqing and Spain’s Juan Antonio Samaranch, will be providing the reports based on prior discussions and investigations, and under the guidance of a proposal made by IOC President Thomas Bach.
The IOC’s 2024 Evaluation Commission has just returned from three-days visits to Los Angeles and Paris last week as part of its due diligence process ahead of a report to be discussed at the July 11 meeting.
In Paris Monday, bid Co-Chair Tony Estanguet confirmed in a discussion with GamesBids.com that Paris 2024 has not engaged in any discussions with the IOC panel – and has not had any conversions with the IOC regarding the joint-awarding since a brief meeting at the SportAccord Convention in April.
If the IOC moves ahead with the joint award, it will have to be handled delicately and diplomatically. Both Los Angeles and Paris say they are aiming for 2024, not 2028 – and Paris has already said that its project is not available for any other year due to contracts related to the construction of the Olympic Village. Additionally, the IOC membership will be reluctant to give up their opportunity to elect the host city, one of the key perks of their positions.
Whether the road map involves three-party negotiations to allocate the Games, or if the members will elect the 2024 city and automatically offer 2028 to the ‘loser’, are options rumored to be under consideration.
The second report to be discussed will analyze the “reform of the candidature procedure that will be applicable to the Olympic Winter Games 2026,” the IOC wrote in a release Friday. The process has already undergone major changes due to the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 but with four-of-six candidates dropping from the 2022 Olympic Winter Games bid and three-of-five exiting the 2024 campaign, it’s clear more work needs to be done.
So far Sion, Switzerland has been the only city to confirm it’s candidacy for the 2026 Games, though it could face a referendum next year. Calgary, Canada is exploring a possible bid for the Games that almost two-thirds of residents support according to a poll this week.
Innsbruck in Austria, Erzurum in Turkey, Sapporo in Japan and a follow-up bid for Almaty in Kazakhstan are also being discussed as possible candidates ahead of the process that the IOC says could kick off early next year after the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
The IOC is currently scheduled to elect the 2024 host city at a meeting in Lima, Peru on September 13.
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.