2016 Bids – Baku, Chicago, Madrid

Baku 2016 is learning from the experience of international experts who met for more than six hours with high-level Azerbaijan government officials, on ecological issues including sports venue planning and operation. Ismayil Ismayilov, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan said, “sports development and environmental protection go hand in hand and pursue a common goal – a better future for the youth of the world”.

The officials, who have had experience with mega events including the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the FIFA Football World Cup 2006 in Germany, agreed “to ensure maximum political, financial and public support, ambitious environmental projects must be carried by momentous occasions such as mega sports events”.

In a media release Baku 2016 said the city affords a great opportunity to rehabilitate polluted areas and use renewable resources for the development of sports infrastructure. Besides eco-friendly venue construction and an increased share of public transport, the experts recommended setting up specific environmental guidelines for the operation of the venues regarding water, waste, energy and noise.

Goussein Bagirov, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, said the remediation and transformation of the former on-shore “Bibi Heybat” oilfield into a sustainable Olympic Park calls for an “integrated environmental concept, from the planning and construction stage to the holding of the event and sustainable post-event use”. He suggested intensifying the collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to promote and monitor the joint effort in sports and the environment of Azerbaijan.

A tax filing for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007 shows that the Chicago 2016 bid committee spent $9 million on the domestic phase of its bid campaign, leaving about $23 million as start-up money for its expected entry into the international phase, reports the Chicago Tribune.

All the funds involved were raised privately from corporate donations and other fund-raising activities.

The largest line items, $5.4 million for “bid-related expenses” included $5 million to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) for the use of USOC staff members and other USOC costs related to all phases of the bid. About 1/3 of the bid committee’s expenses ($2.6 million) came from contracts with management consultants, as there were no paid employees as of June 30, 2007. There are now 30 paid employees.

The highest paid independent contractor was the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton receiving $924,134.

The bid committee hopes to raise $82 million of which about $60 million would be used for bid activities, with much of the remainder going to World Sport Chicago, the organization founded as part of the bid to lure international sports events and promote youth sports in Chicago, reports the Tribune.

Meanwhile Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley was presented Wednesday with an official letter of invitation to attend the Beijing 2008 Summer Games by Chinese Consul General Huang Ping.

Chicago has enjoyed Sister City relationships with Shanghai and Shenyang for more than 20 years.

One of Spain’s most famous football heroes, Alfredo Di Stefano, was awarded a “Medallas de Oro de Madrid”, the city Council’s most prestigious award, on Friday and during his acceptance speech De Stefano pledged his support to Madrid 2016’s bid and said he looked forward to being invited to the Opening Ceremony should Madrid be successful.

The “Medallas de Oro de Madrid” are presented in Madrid every year. Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said they reflect “the very essence of the city and the road on which it wants to progress”. He said that this year the awards had a very distinct “cultural and sporting flavour”.