Reporting from The Grimaldi Forum in Monaco – The bid for the 2024 Olympic Games was launched by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Friday when its Executive Board approved and announced the timeline for the process. Bids will be accepted starting September 15, 2015 and culminate at the final election at the IOC Session in summer of 2017.
The timing of the announcement was a surprise as the process itself is under scrutiny and could be impacted by as set reforms as part of the organization’s so-called “Agenda 2020”. The reforms will be debated and could be approved at an all-members session on Monday and Tuesday in Monaco.
“Since we have heard about many very positive discussions about potential bids for 2024, from different countries, we wanted to already give some certainty to these National Olympic Committees and countries about the timeline and the procedures,” IOC President Thomas Bach told reporters Saturday.
Agenda 2020 was part of Bach’s campaign when he was elected last year and the reforms will likely define his tenure in the organization.
The proposed bid reforms include an “invitation phase” whereby potential hosts are advised and helped by the IOC to determine how their cities and the Olympics could fit together, and what strategies may work. This is also intended to fine-tune communication and understanding among key stakeholders – including the general public.
“If approved, this invitation phase will precede the phases which the IOC Executive Board has approved yesterday following procedures already in place,” Bach further explained.
Other reforms include more flexibility in venue selection including options that will allow events to be hosted in more than one country.
Bids have already been discussed from Doha, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Budapest, South Africa, Germany and the United States where Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington have been shortlisted in a domestic process.
Most National Olympic Committees are waiting for the outcome of next week’s meetings before confirming intentions – and more could come forward.
On Tuesday either Lima, Peru or Helsinki, Finland will be elected as host city for the 130th Olympic Session in 2017 where the 2024 host city election will take place.
The following schedule was released by the IOC:
Applicant City Phase
7-9 October 2015: IOC to host information seminar for 2024 Applicant Cities in Lausanne
8 January 2016: Deadline for Applicant Cities to submit Application Files and guarantee letters
March 2016: IOC Working Group Meeting to assess Applicant Cities (including video conference with each city)
April/May 2016: IOC Executive Board to select Candidate Cities
May 2016: Cities receive Candidate City Questionnaire and related documents
Candidate City Phase
5-21 August 2016: Candidate Cities to attend Olympic Games Rio 2016 on Olympic Games Observers’ Programme
November/December 2016: Candidate Cities to attend Rio 2016 Debrief in Tokyo
January 2017: Deadline for Candidate Cities to submit Candidature File and guarantee letters
February/March 2017: Evaluation Commission visits
June 2017: IOC to publish Evaluation Commission Report
June 2017 (tbc): Candidate City Briefing to IOC members
Summer 2017: Candidate City presentations to the IOC Session; final report to Session from Evaluation Commission Chair; election of the host city of the 2024 Olympic Games
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com 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.