International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach is encouraging Australia to bid for the 2024 or 2028 Summer Olympic Games. He told The Weekend Australian this week that three Australian cities already had sufficient infrastructure in place to each host a cost-efficient Games and said, “the project would not be complicated”.
Although he didn’t name the three cities, Bach reportedly was referring to Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne and emphasized that the memories of the great Sydney Olympics were still so fresh in everyone’s mind.
He added, “it is up to the politicians, but the cities don’t have to start from scratch. It is not complicated to put the project together. It might be more complicated to choose the city than to put the project together”.
Under new IOC rules introduced last December, the spiraling costs of recent bids beyond $50 million have been scaled back. The IOC has limited the lobbying efforts of bid cities and will pay for its own evaluation team to produce a technical report on each bid citiy.
When it was put to Bach that Australians were still wary of bids for major events after the debacle of the FIFA 2022 World Cup bid, he said the organization of the two bodies was “extremely different” and such differences started with the bid procedure.
He said cities could use a bid platform as a catalyst for a city’s infrastructure development, as happened for the Sochi Winter Games which built an entire ski resort. But he anticipated an Australian city would not do that.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has shown interest in hosting the Games, and Brisbane has reportedly flirted with a bid.
Australia hosted the Games in 1956 in Melbourne and 2000 in Sydney. City nominations for 2024 are due into the IOC on September 15. Rome and Boston have confirmed their participation in the bid.