Budapest remains on course to host a future Olympic Games despite missing out on the 2032 edition when Brisbane was named the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) ‘preferred candidate’ only weeks after the Hungarian capital signaled its intention to join the race.
This week the Hungarian Olympic Committee renamed the Budapest 2032 Committee – an organization originally formed in January to win the first-ever Games for the capital – to the Budapest Olympic Games Commission which will be tasked with entering continuous dialogue with the IOC to host in 2036 or beyond.
Hungary has won the most Olympic medals for any nation never to have hosted the world’s biggest quadrennial sport event.
This 2032 miss marks the seventh time Budapest has launched a bid only to fail crossing the finish line first. The city sought the 2024 Games but withdrew from that race after a threatened referendum eroded political support for the project. That paved the way for the double awarding of the Games to Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.
After the 2024 race the IOC rebuilt the Olympic bid process by eliminating the head-to-head final election by IOC members to instead leverage a Future Host Commission to work with interested bidders until the right partnership is found. That city or region can be recommended to the IOC’s Executive Board (EB) and then sent to the membership for final approval when the EB chooses.
The sudden nomination of Brisbane 2032 amid the coronavirus pandemic and fervid preparations to host the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games was the IOC’s first Summer Games election under this new process, and it caught rivals by surprise with the planned Games more than 11 years ahead. Budapest, along with pitches from Germany, India, Indonesia, Qatar, and North and South Korea were left behind.
The Budapest Olympic Games Commission will keep that city tightly engaged with the IOC for future hosting consideration, a move that shows interested parties are now learning how to navigate the new bidding landscape. As part of the commission’s work, a feasibility study and macroeconomic impact assessment will be produced.
Other cities are moving forward as well.
In India, formal preparations to potentially host in 2036 are underway with the city of Ahmedabad considered a possible hub. Consultants have been hired to build a roadmap and provide an assessment of the needed infrastructure to successfully stage the Games.
The IOC conducts bid city dialogue in confidence and will not comment on cities currently engaged in the process.