Spanish Government To Explore A Madrid 2032 Olympic Games Bid

Spain’s newly appointed Minister of Culture and Sport José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes will launch an exploration of a potential Madrid 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid.

Spain's Minister of Culture and Sport José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes (Wikipedia)

Spain’s Minister of Culture and Sport José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes (Wikipedia)

Upon taking office Monday, Rodríguez Uribes’s office announced he will begin work to pass the nation’s newly drafted sport law, reform the elite athlete development program and examine bids for both the 2032 Summer Games and 2030 Olympic Winter Games.

The idea of a Madrid 2032 Games was first discussed last September shortly after the city’s new Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida took office.  At the time he said that the city should explore a possible 2032 Games as long as it has a “social and political consensus.”

According to El Mundo the Mayor’s idea has broad political backing but weaker support from the general public.

Spain is also developing a Winter Games bid from the Pyrenees-Barcelona region for 2030 and last September International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President and Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch warned that both projects two years apart would not likely be accepted by the IOC.

Last week the IOC said the Pyrenees-Barcelona 2030 project was among Salt Lake City and Sapporo as the only bids currently in the running for those Games.

After Barcelona hosted the Summer Games in 1992, Madrid failed in bids to host the Games in 2012, 2016 and 2020.  Spanish city Seville was also denied the Games when it applied for the 2004 and 2008 editions.

Spain has been equally futile in recent Winter Games bids with Jaca failing in campaigns for 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014.

After Madrid’s latest defeat In 2013, Madrid Mayor Ana Botella said that the city should no longer pursue the Olympic Games.  But Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms introduced by the IOC in more recent years that call for greater efficiency and sustainability when organizing the Games are aligned with what Madrid had hoped to deliver for 2020.  It seems Madrid’s project was a bit ahead of its time.

Organizers for 2020 had proposed staging basketball in the Las Ventas Bullring rather than building a new facility with limited legacy value.

IOC Claims Sapporo, Salt Lake City and Barcelona In Running To Host Winter Olympics

That thinking has encouraged Mayor Martínez-Almeida who now hopes to propose a similar concept that leverages existing venues across a wider footprint, and in accordance with new IOC rules.

The IOC bid process approved last year also supports parallel projects from both Madrid and Barcelona, allowing IOC Future Host Commissions to vet the two of them and decide which project could be viable to move forward.  An unaccepted project could then be considered for a future quadrennial.  There are no specific timelines but it is possible the 2030 Games could be awarded before the end of 2021 and the 2032 Games shortly after.

Madrid would face solid competition on the international stage with a bid by Australia’s Queensland as the perceived front runner in the race and other interest coming from Jakarta in Indonesia, Germany, India and jointly between North and South Korea.

Australia expects to submit a documented project to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games in July, with a targeted dialog scheduled for the balance of the year.

The next Games are scheduled to open in Tokyo this July with Paris to follow in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.

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