At least six regions in Russia are interested in hosting 2036 Olympic Games

As many as six Russian cities could be considering applications to host the Olympic Games in 2036 according to local reporting.

Olympic rings at Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Olympic rings at Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

In August Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informally triggered a domestic race by stressing an urgency for interested regions to step forward.

“Several cities have already submitted their bids, so don’t drag out your time,” he said adding “the bids are being prepared.”

Lavrov had pointed to St. Petersburg and Kazan as those cities that were in the running, but according to Russian Ural news agency URA.RU it is six other cities that have indicated some type of interest in moving forward.

Rostov-On-Don, Vladivostok, Perm, Novosibirsk, Sochi and Ufa have all made indications that they want to explore bids to host the next Games available for hosting in 2036 according to the URA.RU survey.  But the list is not official as it is up to Russia’s national Olympic committee (NOC) to launch any bid for the Olympics and nominate a region or city of its choosing.

According to an unnamed Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) source to URA.RU “the initiator here is not the NOC, but the cities that want to become the capital of the Olympic Games.  There are no applications yet.”

When asked earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t confirm that there would be a bid to host the 2036 Games, but he wouldn’t rule out the possibility.  Russia is banned from promoting any bid to host the Games until December 2022 as part of a punishment handed down by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after it was found that testing data from a Moscow anti-doping lab had been altered.

There is no set timetable for the 2036 bid, though the Games are expected to be awarded after the Russian ban ends.  Instead, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) asks nominated regions to enter into an ongoing dialogue with the Future Host Commission until the right partnership is found.

There are several cities already discussing 2036 bids including projects from Germany, India, Indonesia, Hungary, Qatar and North and South Korea – many that were involved in the dialogue for 2032 and are expected to remain in the running for future Games.  Last week Madrid’s Vice Mayor hinted her city could re-enter the running after three recent defeats.  London and Istanbul have also expressed interest in joining the race.

Rostov-On-Don is a city of about one million people north of the Caucasus in Southern Russia.  Rostov Arena was a host venue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.  A spokesperson for the Governor told URA.RU “when submitting an application, the city of Rostov-on-Don will be proposed.”

“It is planned to come up with proposals for holding competitions in rowing, kayaking and canoeing, handball, football and martial arts.”

Vladivostok is an industrial port city of about 800,000 on the Sea of Japan near the borders of North Korea and China.  Earlier this month the Mayor announced a bid but admitted the challenges are great for his region that currently lacks the required sports infrastructure.

Officials in Perm, a region near the Ural Mountains, are currently focused on attracting smaller sports events ahead of the 2036 Games but would not rule out an application for the Olympics, noting that there is interest in hosting the Games.

Novosibirsk government officials admitted that there was currently no planning for a 2036 bid but they would be consulting with the ROC in the future to assess the opportunity.  The large Siberian city will host the FIVB 2022 Volleyball World Championships and the IIHF 2023 World U20 Ice Hockey Championships.

In Sochi, city officials explained that they were not actively pursuing an opportunity to host the Olympics for a second time after the same city staged the 2014 Winter Games.  However they told Russian media that they are ready and capable of hosting the Games if called upon by the ROC.

A spokesperson from the mayor’s office said Ufa would like to host the 2036 Games  but didn’t elaborate on whether an application was in the works.

“In the coming years, several more large sports facilities will be built to host events of the highest level, including the Gymnastics Center, the Wrestling Center, the Volleyball Center, and the Fencing Center,” the spokesperson said.

“Ufa is ready to host and host the Olympic Games, but the decision is up to the International Olympic Committee.”

Officials representing St. Petersburg and Kazan said that they had no information on an upcoming Olympic bid.

In July Brisbane in Australia was awarded the 2032 Olympic Games after being singled out as a preferred candidate by the IOC following months of closed-door discussions.  Paris will host the Games in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028 after both received the honor as part of a double-allocation in 2017.

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.