Top Olympic Bid Stories of 2014: #2 – Agenda 2020 Changes The Rules presents the seventh annual Top Ten list of Olympic Bid Stories for 2014. These stories impacted the course of Olympic bids, or the Olympic bid process, and formed interesting plot lines for the year. We’ll run them down from 10th to 1st during the holiday season.

#2 – Agenda 2020 Changes The Rules Top Ten 2014 #2 Top Ten 2014 #2

When IOC President Thomas Bach was elected in 2013, he promised change and lots of it – and he gave that change the name Agenda 2020.

In 2014 he envisioned, planned and executed the tools for that change, and at the heart were much needed reforms to the Olympic bid process.

At the 127th IOC Session in Monaco in December, the importance if the bid-related reforms was emphasized as these proposals were at the top of the list and the first three of the 40 to be debated.  They passed, along with the other 37 unanimously.

Among the notable changes to the bid process were the option to include venues in the plan that exist across an international border; the inclusion of an invitation phase ahead of the application where the IOC and bid cities can work together and develop synergies and the IOC’s attempt to promote cost-cutting by reducing the number of presentations and offering to finance the travel of a set number of bid delegates.

One glaring omission was the reinstatement of member visits to bid cities for personal evaluations – a privilege that was removed in the wake of the Salt Lake City bribery scandal.  Many members had been calling for its return explaining that it would help them make better decisions when electing host cities

Both existing bidders for 2022, Almaty and Beijing, welcomed the changes and said they would immediately integrate them into their planning where possible.

While Bach said that is too late to reopen the 2022 bid process, the changes could have a major impact on the site selection process moving forward.  However, it will still be up to IOC members to approve of these new style of bids through their election of them.  While it may be permitted to propose, in exceptional circumstances, that certain events be held in another country – the plans will still need to win approval of the membership.  Bids could be reluctant to make such proposals if they feel they will be at a competitive disadvantage by doing so.

The announcement of the new reforms also helped jump-start the 2024 bid process giving some national Olympic committee’s a clearer picture of what would be expected of them moving forward.  Rome, and a city to be named in the U.S. have been put forward to bid for the Summer Games.

The IOC also quickly announced that the new invitation phase for the 2024 bid will open January 15, 2015.

With the tools in place, the IOC will try to leverage them in 2015.

Watch or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for Top Bid Story #1.

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of 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.