Brisbane elected to host 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Brisbane will become the third Australian city to host the Summer Olympics in 2032, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed Wednesday at its 138th all-members Session held in Tokyo.

IOC President Thomas Bach announces Brisbane 2032 will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games July 21, 2021 (IOC Photo)
IOC President Thomas Bach announces Brisbane 2032 will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games July 21, 2021 (IOC Photo)

IOC Members cast 80 votes by secret electronic ballot with 72 supporting the bid, five against and 3 abstaining.  A majority of 39 votes was required to elect the Queensland capital, that was unopposed after being singled out as the preferred candidate earlier this year.

Representing the bid in Japan were Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck who offered members a 45-minute presentation and question and answer period ahead of the vote.  Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates, who is also an IOC Vice President, opened the presentation.

“We know what it takes to deliver a successful Games in Australia,” the Prime Minister emphasized through a live video feed from capital Canberra.

Celebrating after the announcement, Palaszczuk said “We have done it Queensland, we have done it Brisbane.”

“This is fantastic, this is amazing. Tonight is your night, enjoy.

“The international committee was blown away tonight about how beautiful our state is.  We want to welcome people back to Queensland after the pandemic and celebrate in true Queensland style.”

Brisbane becomes the first city elected to host the Games under the IOC’s new bid process approved in 2019 and engineered by IOC’s Coates.  Future Host Commission chair, Norwegian IOC member Kristin Kloster Aasen, provided a review of the technical evaluation of Australia’s project to members ahead of the final vote.

Kloster Aasen noted the nation’s love for sport and strong support for the bid from all levels of government, making the project an opportunity for the IOC.

The IOC’s Future Host Commission in February moved Brisbane into a targeted dialogue stage, elevating the project as the preferred bidder over rivals from Germany, India, Indonesia, Qatar, Hungary and North and South Korea. On June 10th the Executive Board completed due diligence and referred the bid to the Session for the final vote of approval.

The bid has proposed a regional concept that includes 84 percent existing and temporary venues. The Gabba cricket pitch is set for a AUD$1 billion (USD$733.3 million) renovation and will host the opening and closing ceremonies, and a new swimming facility will be built.

Aligned with Queensland state long-term development goals, officials say there will be many transportation upgrades ready in time for the Games.

The bid has budgeted USD$4.5 billion (adjusted to 2032) for operating costs that are expected to be completely offset by revenues and sponsorships, as well as an IOC contribution of almost USD$900 million. There is a built-in 16 percent contingency.

Australia first hosted the Games in Melbourne in 1956 and then in Sydney in 2000. The nation will be the second to host the Summer Games in three different cities after the United States staged events in St. Louis, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Paris is scheduled to host the Games in 2024 followed by Los Angeles in 2028, both for a third time.

More to come as this breaking story develops…

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.

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