Youth Olympic Games Evaluation Report Has Focus on Short Timeframe

Due to the short amount of time available to organize the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the IOC emphasized readiness and the ability to deliver in their evaluation report of the candidate cities released Monday.

Moscow and Singapore came out on top and will be the only two names on the ballot based on these requirements.

Moscow’s budget of USD $180 million budget including USD $76 million for culture and education programs and solid government guarantees and contingency fund satisfied IOC evaluators. Most venues are ready to go and Moscow has the experience to deliver on time and on target.

The report explains that if chosen, Moscow will have to closely coordinate with the IOC and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games Organizing Committee on marketing programs to ensure that there will be no conflicts.

Singapore’s plan includes the risk of building two new venues – the Olympic Village and equestrian complex. The IOC sent a construction expert to assess the project and found that the $423 million University of Singapore Olympic Village plan was feasible and so was the backup plan. The expert believed the equestrian venue could be delivered on time.

The IOC finds that the $75.5 million overall budget is workable and is backed up by strong government support. Evaluators were also impressed by the compact plan.

Athens plan was critisized for have a high budget beyond the scope of the Games. After reducing it in reaction to IOC concerns the new budget of $273 million is still above the IOC’s expectations and is well above that of the other cities bidding.

Additionally, Athens failed to provide sufficient hotel guarantees and there were concerns that the venues were too widespread and would require the involvement of several municipalities.

In contrast, Bangkok presented an extremely low budget of $33.5 million causing IOC evaluators to doubt that the Youth Olympic Games concept could be adequately delivered in this tight of a financial envelope. With new elections, questionable guarantees and a widespread venue plan, this bid missed the mark.

The IOC was somewhat impressed with Turin’s plan, and especially their experience hosting major events (including the 2006 Winter Olympic Games) but the bid was stopped cold when the IOC construction expert reported that a proposed $304 million Olympic Village could not be constructed in time and that two backup plans were not feasible. There was also concerns about the construction of a new aquatics venue.

Turin planned a budget of $130 million.

With more time to plan for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games and further Summer Games, it is clear that in the future many cities could present feasible bids if not under severe time constraints. With the budget standards now set in the $75 million to $200 million range, cities that couldn’t normally host the Olympic Games can now hope to host the Youth installment.

The IOC will elect the winner through a postal vote in February and will announce the winner February 21.