Hamburg Plans Two Olympic Bids

Michael Neumann, the Hamburg senator in charge of domestic affairs and sports and one of the leaders of Hamburg’s Olympic bid, told Reuters Friday there would be two consecutive bids should the first bid for 2024 fail.

He also is hoping the city’s concept of “pedestrian and bicycle” Games will help win the bid.

Neumann said, “I think bidding for the Olympics is not a sprint but a marathon. I think it is smart to start bidding for 2024 and if not successful, to bid again for 2028.

“We are ready to commit ourselves to two bidding processes. We want to show that we take it very seriously”.

Hamburg is bidding against Berlin to be Germany’s candidate, although the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) has not yet decided when a Germany city will bid for the Olympics.

Hamburg’s concept is to hold the Games in the Kleiner Grasbrook area technically an island but only a 10-minute walk from the city centre, that would become the Olympic park. The plan is to have every venue accessible on foot or by bicycle.

Neumann said, “the basic philosophy behind our concept is urban development in the past 20 years and a return to the water. It used to be going away from the sea, now it is a return to reclaim the waterfront.

“For our concept it is also the jump over the river Elbe to connect the south and the north into a more integral city. We are offering Olympic and Paralympic Games in the heart of the city.

“In the Olympic park next to the Hafen (port) City and all venues within a 10-km radius. It would be the pedestrian and bicycle Olympics because there is no need to take the car”.

He added, “there is always criticism of the IOC and the bidding process. But instead of criticizing, one has to offer some constructive contribution to the Olympics and that is the idea behind Hamburg’s bid. To offer a compact Olympic concept within the organic urban development of the city. Not like a UFO of venues and stadiums that lands suddenly in a city and then takes off at the end of the Games”.

He said, “polls are not always 100 per cent reliable but there is indeed a sense of desire and enthusiasm among locals”. Hamburg appears to enjoy local support at a higher percentage over its rival Berlin, according to some recent polls.