Saint Petersburg, Russia – Leading up to important presentations at the SportAccord convention Thursday, 2020 Olympic bid cities have been tweaking their campaign messages that perhaps reveal a bit of what they’ll tell the world sport leaders gathered here in Saint Petersburg.
Two of the cities, Istanbul and Madrid, couldn’t have more different overall strategies, yet their messages are beginning to cross-over.
“We are not just prepared for 2020, we are already prepared in 2013,” Madrid Mayor Ana Botella told a small group of international journalists who are in Russia covering this important milestone for the bids.
“We are trying to convince the people we are a safe choice.”
Meanwhile, Istanbul 2020 Bid Chief Hasan Arat told a similar group “Our bid is risk free – we can turn our dream into reality.”
“Turkey is different this time; we are ready to deliver the Games,” he said in reference to Istanbul’s fifth bid attempt.
This is Madrid’s third straight try, fifth for Spain.
Istanbul is in the midst of an economic boom, unique across Europe and Asia. Its bid depends on huge construction projects, many of which are already planned or underway to help support the growing city.
Madrid is in the midst of a crippling economic downturn, but plans to leverage already existing sport and transportation infrastructure to host the Games, that will in turn help revive the economy.
Just weeks ago during the International Olympic Committee (IOC) evaluation commission visit the bid team underlined a $19.2 billion price tag that included all the major infrastructure projects. Some have already been constructed including billions of dollars worth under the Bosphorus strait in the form of the Marmaray tunnel – a rail link joining two continents.
On Wednesday, Turkey’s President Abdullah G