The Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid has entered the very final stage towards the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) awarding of the quadrennial multi-sport event.
IOC Vice President and President of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) John Coates told the AOC Annual General Meeting on Saturday that Brisbane was on the verge of being confirmed the 2032 host city.
He said “IOC due diligence testing of every element of the Brisbane project is now underway.”
“If this diligence yields a positive final report, the proposal to host the Games in 2032 will go to a vote of the full IOC membership.
“Friends, this is the pathway for Brisbane to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032.”
The IOC membership is next expected to meet July 20 in Tokyo ahead of the Postponed 2020 Olympic Games. While officials are under mounting pressure to cancel this event amid a surge of COVID-19 infections and burdened hospital capacities across Japan, this would be the earliest opportunity for Brisbane to be rubber-stamped as the 2032 host.
But Coates, who will be recused from voting due to a conflict of interests, pushed back on any discussion of a summer awarding of the Games.
He said “I won’t speculate on that because we’ve got to come through the due diligence. It has to go to the IOC Executive Board, and they’ll decide,” he said, according to Reuters.
In February Brisbane was named the IOC’s preferred candidate following a new host city selection process launched in 2019. The IOC has eliminated public, multi-city head-to-head bid campaigns in favor of a more collaborative yet hidden selection process aimed at eliminating disappointment among ‘losing’ cities.
Bids from Germany, India, Qatar and the Korean Peninsula however felt snubbed when the IOC unceremoniously dismissed their campaigns to move forward solely with Brisbane. Emerging projects from Indonesia and Hungary were also ignored as the IOC chose to reject traditional timelines to instead set its own pace.
The IOC claims that these bids remain in the queue to host in 2032 should talks with Australian officials disintegrate – otherwise they can be considered to host a Games in 2036 or beyond. Most observers agree that a Brisbane Games in 2032, backed by the IOC’s own Vice President, is a certainty.
“The IOC has parked the other cities,” Coates told reporters. “If we fell over, they would have an opportunity again.”
Coates warned that governing bodies and government partners must continue to work together in the final sprint to get across the line in this solo race.
“For Brisbane and Queensland, the bell for the last lap has rung,” he said.
“We have final hurdles to clear before the tape is breasted.
“But with all levels of Government, the AOC and Paralympics Australia, working in genuine partnership, as members of the OCLG, Brisbane 2032 runs with confidence and cohesion – as it should, and as it must.”
Australia has already hosted the Summer Games twice, in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. Paris is set to stage the event in 2024 with Los Angeles to follow in 2028.
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.