Six Mayors Back Australian Regional Brisbane 2028 Olympic Bid

On Wednesday six mayors across South-East Queensland in Australia took starting positions and are set to pursue a Brisbane 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid.  A regional Olympic bid, made possible by new International Olympic Committee (IOC) bidding rules, would ultimately require the endorsement of 11 area mayors.  A decision by them is expected within a month.

Brisbane Skyline

Brisbane Skyline, in South-East Queensland (Photo: Lachlan Fearnley)

The Brisbane Times reports that a bidding group plans to spend between AUD $2 million to $2.5 million (USD $1.5 million to $1.87 million) of public funds for a feasibility study that would take place over the next 12 to 14 months.

A pre-feasibility analysis report released Tuesday shows that Brisbane and its surrounding regions are fully capable of hosting a successful Olympics in 2028.

But the report warns that, “an SEQ Olympic bid can only, and will only, proceed if it will demonstrably deliver a better region for our residents and a strong economic, social and cultural legacy for Queensland and Australia.”

The report also expressed a need for significant federal funding.

According to the report the major shortcoming of the region is the lack of a coordinated public transportation plan. The intention under the “linear city plan” is to have travel times from Brisbane to the Gold and Sunshine coasts limited to under 45 minutes via fast trains.  But by 2028 the region will boast four international airports including Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

Fireworks over Sydney Harbor Bridge at 2000 Olympic Games

Fireworks over Sydney Harbor Bridge at 2000 Olympic Games

Existing sporting facilities could reportedly be used, though by 2028 many venues would need refurbishment.  A new 60,000 seat stadium would be required in central Brisbane.

Brisbane’s Mayor Graham Quirk told The Brisbane Times “I think that Brisbane would be the obvious choice for the next Australian Olympic bid,” Cr Quirk said in February 2015.

“As Australia’s new world city, I think we’ve demonstrated that we are capable of staging a world event – staging it safely, successfully and with attention to detail.”

Brisbane hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and the Goodwill Games in 2001 and will play a smaller role in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.  Australia last hosted the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and previously in Melbourne in 1956.

If the region hopes to host the 2028 Olympic Games, interest needs to be expressed to the IOC in 2019.  The final vote would take place in 2021.

After Rio next month, the following Games are to be held in Tokyo in 2020.  Budapest, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome are locked in battle to host the Games in 2024.

Kuala Lumpur and Singapore are exploring a joint 2028 Olympic bid along with Doha in Qatar, Baku in Azerbaijan, and potentially one of the failed 2024 bids.  Interest in pursuing the Games has also been expressed from Johannesburg and Toronto.