PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 Will Be Impacted By IOC Bidding Reforms

Reporting from Grimaldi Forum in Monaco – Saturday saw the conclusion of the IOC Executive Board meetings, where amongst other things there was discussion on the topic of the Agenda 2020 proposals and what their potential impact will be on cities already elected and preparing to host future editions of the Games.

Alpensia Stadium in PyeongChang with ski jump tower in the haze at the upper-left (GamesBids Photo - January 2013)

Alpensia Stadium in PyeongChang with ski jump tower in the haze at the upper-left (GamesBids Photo – January 2013)

In Monaco multiple reports, including from AP, have suggested that the IOC has asked PyeongChang 2018 organizers to stop construction of their Alpensia sliding venue and move it to another country that has existing venues for bobsled, luge and skeleton.  Possible new locations include recent hosts Nagano, Whistler, Calgary or Salt Lake City.

Such a move would be the first example that shows the IOC is willing to act on the reforms and take them seriously.  It will result in a significant cost savings for Korea and eliminate a potential burdensome legacy.

Other issues effecting PyeongChang revolve around the budget and who is to pay for the Opening and Closing Ceremony venue after it was switched from the Ski Jumping Centre at the Alpensia Ski Resort to the Olympic Park of Hoenggye.

Tokyo 2020 has made it known that they want to see baseball and softball on their sports program, given the popularity of these sports in Japan.

IOC President Thomas Bach told reporters Saturday that the new proposals would give flexibility to Olympic Games Organising Committees to determine the number of sports in the program and to change venues to make them more sustainable or cost effective.

Bach added that any new sports (from the current list of recognised sports federations) selected would still have to meet current criteria such as gender balance, global participation and receive provisional approval from the IOC Executive Board.

“The final decision will remain with the IOC Session,” Bach emphasized about the member voting process currently used to make major decisions.

The current 2022 bid race has been plagued by the withdrawal of applicants due in part to controversy surrounding the $51 billion (USD) capital works budget of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.  It is hoped that new measures will give bidding and host cities more flexibility to make appropriate changes resulting in cost savings, and that a period of consultation with cities (as opposed to a list of demands and requirements) will enhance the appeal of bidding for the Games in the future.

The list of 40 reforms is scheduled to be reviewed for approval in Monaco next week.

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About Andrew Iredale

Andrew has been involved behind-the-scenes at several Olympic Games and IOC Sessions and is a special contributor to GamesBids.com during the 127th IOC Session in Monaco.