European NOC's Draft Paper That Calls for Revision of Bid Process

The national Olympic committees of Austria, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland released a joint paper Tuesday calling for a thorough revision of the Olympic bidding process.

In a 15-page document titled “The Bid Experience”, the four European NOCs asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for “more support in bidding, more certainty in process, more partnership in risk, more flexibility in scale”.

The four nations backtracked recently either from bidding for the 2022 Winter Games or the 2028 Summer Games because of a lack of national, or at least regional public or political support.

The NOC’s say they don’t intend to criticize the IOC but hope their findings will become part of the Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap of the Olympic movement which has been initiated by IOC President Thomas Bach which is set to be finalized by the end of the year.

The paper says “established European nations” encounter similar problems when considering a bid, most notably the fact that “public and politics seemingly fear the high costs of bidding for and hosting the Games, especially in the aftermath of the increase of costs that was witnessed in Sochi as well as concerns relating to human rights and sustainability”. Also, the situation “is aggravated by the media picturing mistrust in the IOC” says the document.

They propose a string of recommendations to improve the bidding process, attempting to make it less complex and more transparent, and highlight eight key topics which are all related to the process of the bidding, or the costs and the scale of the Games.

Their recommendations to the IOC include shortening the bid phases; clearly dividing the cost of the Games in public and private costs; better explaining and promoting the IOC’s financial contributions; and limiting the total number of the Olympic Family and reducing the IOC accommodation requirements.

At the IOC Executive Board meeting last week President Thomas Bach emphasized that his organization needs to better explain the costs for the Games because there are many misconceptions.

Emphasis is centred mainly on the Winter Olympics because of the committees’ experience that these challenges “are even more pressing than in bidding for the Summer Games”.