IOC President Encourages Australian Mayors On Potential Brisbane 2032 Olympic Bid

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach told Australian stakeholders that he was “impressed” with preparations already being made towards a bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach chats with Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates as Australia mulls 2032 Olympic bid (IOC Photo)

IOC President Thomas Bach chats with Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates in Sydney as Australia mulls 2032 Olympic bid (IOC Photo)

In Brisbane Monday, ahead of his visit to the SportAccord Convention in Gold Coast later this week, Bach met with Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson along with 10 regional councilors from South East Queensland where venues for the regional bid are located.  He was accompanied by Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President and IOC Member John Coates.

Bach reviewed a feasibility study that was released by the government in February.

“I must say that we have been impressed to see how detailed the feasibility studies are already at this early stage and how well founded these studies are,” he told journalists at Brisbane City Hall.

“Now it is up to the Australians to make their minds up, and to say whether they want to follow up on this project to host the Olympic Games.”

The 265-page report outlines a plan to renovate as many as 60 percent existing venues and add further infrastructure and transportation upgrades.

The operating cost for the Games was estimated at AUD $5.3 billion (USD $3.71 billion) which could be partially funded by the estimated AUD $1.7 billion (USD $1.25 billion) cash and in-kind contribution from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and AUD $2.7 billion in domestic revenue leaving a tax-funded deficit of about $900 million.

Bach claimed, however, that the operating costs for the Games would be cost-neutral thanks to the financial contribution from the IOC, which for Los Angeles in 2028 will be USD $1.8 billion (AUD $2.6 billion).  The contribution will likely increase for 2032 to account for inflation.

The new funding equation would virtually wipe out the $900 million taxpayer commitment.

“At least so far we have no indication this will be less for 2032,” Bach told reporters.

“I think this figure was new to the mayors and I could see them starting calculating in their heads and what this means for their feasibility study and for their budget,” Bach added, noting that the feasibility study was based on a AUD $1.7 billion figure that was used for the 2024 Games.

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

“If there is a decision to go ahead [with the bid] it will be a joint decision of the South East Queensland Mayors, the AOC and the State Government and Federal Government,” Coates said

A final decision to bid isn’t expected before 2020, and the IOC is set to choose the host city in 2025.

Coates underlined the need for transportation upgrades ahead of the Games, and he emphasized that a bid would not move forward unless commitments are in place to fund the new infrastructure whether the Games come to the region in 2032, or not.

The Australian IOC member is chair of an IOC working group with an agenda to further develop the Olympic bid process, and in such a way to make the site selection more targeted and with less losers.

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.

About Robert Livingstone

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.