Informal meetings have been held on the Gold Coast this week to discuss a possible Queensland, Australia bid for the 2032 Olympic Games, the Courier-Mail has reported. International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials on hand to celebrate the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games were reportedly “impressed” by their outstanding success.
The IOC officials warned, however, that the federal government must be on board to underwrite the Games if the bid were to move forward.
“I know the IOC has an interest in the Commonwealth Games and has an interest in southeast Queensland considering a bid for the Olympics,’’ Peter Beattie, Chair of Gold Coast 2018 said.
“They will have seen our capacity to run a Games in the southeast corner. There’s a recognition globally that we really do these events well.’
“They (Queenslanders at the Games) are enthusiastic, but money is what drives enthusiasm to reality.’
“The two weaknesses (in a bid) are that you need a big stadium and the USD $12 billion – other than that we could do it tomorrow.”
A feasibility study is already underway, and will be delivered to regional Mayors by July this year before a decision to pursue a bid is made.
Australia’s bid has gained prominence after earlier this month India’s Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said his country is no longer interested in bidding for the 2032 Games. The Minister said India will back away from hosting any large events “for the foreseeable future” because, he said, they would have no benefit for the country.
IOC President Thomas Bach will be traveling to India April 18 to further discuss the issue with officials.
Australia has hosted the Games twice, in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.
Last year Paris was elected to host the 2024 Edition of the Games and Los Angeles was chosen for 2028 in an historic double-allocation after three-of-five candidates dropped out for the race.
At the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February IOC Executive Director Christophe Dubi said that an unnamed city was ready to discuss a 2032 bid. He added that under new IOC rules, the dialogue phase of a bid could begin anytime a city wishes to discuss its interest in hosting the Games.
The IOC will more formally launch the bid process in 2024 and are expected to elect the 2032 host city in 2025.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will conclude Sunday, April 15.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com 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.