Feasibility Study Supports A Brisbane 2032 Olympic Bid That Could Cost AUD $5.3 Billion

A 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid by Australia’s South-east Queensland and led by Brisbane would be an important catalyst to much-needed transportation improvements in the region, and could leverage existing facilities to cut other costs – this according to a commissioned feasibility report released Thursday by French company Lagadere.

South-east Queensland Mayors in Australia examine feasibility study for 2032 Olympics (Twitter/Redland City Mayor Karen Williams)

South-east Queensland Mayors in Australia examine feasibility study for 2032 Olympics (Twitter/Redland City Mayor Karen Williams)

The 265-page report outlines a plan to upgrade as many as 60 percent existing venues, add temporary seating where possible and build at least one new stadium.  But the plan is contingent on the separate delivery of major transport projects that are needed to protect the state from future gridlock.

The report suggests that coupled with an Olympics, those projects can benefit from an increased financial return.

The operating cost for the Games is estimated at AUD $5.3 billion (USD $3.77 billion) which could be partially funded by a $1.7 billion cash and in-kind contribution from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and $2.7 billion in domestic revenue leaving a tax-funded deficit of about $900 million.

The Commonwealth Games hosted in Gold Coast last year had a net cost of $1.2 billion, but that bottom line was not supported by a contribution from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).  The IOC contributes funds to the organization of an Olympic Games based on a share of broadcast revenue, much of which is already locked in for 2032.

On Friday Queensland’s Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk underlined the need for strong support from all level of government before moving forward.

She said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald “first and foremost, there would have to be agreement on all levels of government.”

Brisbane Skyline

Brisbane Skyline (Photo: Lachlan Fearnley)

“Secondly we would have to see a very strong contribution from the federal government, the likes of which we saw for the Sydney Olympics, and we have not had any of those conversations with the federal government.

“And thirdly I don’t think Queenslanders want an Olympics just concentrated in the south-east.

“We’re a very big state and it would have to be inclusive of Queensland.”

The Premier promised to examine the newly-released report in further detail.

Brisbane’s lord mayor Graham Quirk said a bid was first considered based on the IOC’s recent efforts to reduce the costs under the organization’s Olympic Agenda 2020 reform package.

“We were keen to see whether SEQ could deliver a cost-effective plan to host the Olympic Games by reusing the region’s existing facilities, and in turn, creating a catalyst for infrastructure delivery and job creation,” Quirk said.

“This study has shown that SEQ could mount a successful bid without the need to build venues just for an Olympic Games.

“In doing so, we would be able to keep costs to a minimum while maximizing the potential benefits and legacies for the region.”

The report outlines plans for Brisbane to host 21 of the venues with the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast each providing five and Ipswich and Toowoomba two.  Three other venues would be leveraged elsewhere in the region.

Brisbane would be home for the main Olympic Village with athletes also housed in additional facilities in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

Australia has hosted the Games twice, in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

The IOC is scheduled to elect a 2032 host in 2025.  Tokyo is set to host the Games next year with Paris in line for 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.

Several other cities and countries have already expressed interest in bidding for the 2032 Games including Jakarta in Indonesia, Shanghai in China, Buenos Aires in Argentina, as well as Germany and Russia.  Discussions around a joint North and South Korean bid have also caught the attention of the IOC.

A proposed 2032 bid by India is already in jeopardy after the IOC Friday moved to “suspend all discussions with the Indian NOC and government regarding the potential applications for hosting future sports and Olympic-related events.”

This decision came after Pakistani shooters were denied Visas to enter India to compete in Saturday’s (February 23) International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in New Delhi.  That follows increased tensions between the nations after last week’s deadly suicide bombing in Kashmir by a a Pakistani militant group.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil