The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Monday published a 292-page document outlining the “Host City Contract – Operational Requirements” in a move to increase transparency, the organization claims.
The comprehensive document describes what a host city must make available for the Games from exact technical specifications of a Gold Medal to the number of folding chairs required in a National Olympic Committee’s (NOC) work space.
These new requirements are claimed to be more cost effective compared to organizing previous Games and could help trim up to USD $500 million from the 2026 Winter Games budget and up to $1 billion from a future Summer Games.
IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said in a statement “This is another significant step in making the Olympic and Paralympic Games a reality for the communities that have the ambition of hosting the world’s biggest sporting event.”
“We are enabling the organisation of Games that will be sustainable and create lasting legacies for their citizens, while also reducing complexity and costs.”
The contract leverages a set of 118 measure identified by the IOC this year, described as the “new norm”, that increases flexibility offered to potential host cities interested in bidding for the Games.
The IOC also confirmed Monday its intention to contribute at least USD $925 million from broadcast and sponsorship revenue to the 2026 host city operational budget.
This new document will be used by the interested 2026 bid cities in their preparation of budgets and bid books that must be submitted to the IOC in January, along with certain guarantees. The IOC is expected to shortlist qualified candidates in October and will elect a winner September 2019.
This document will likely become key as constituents in Calgary prepare to vote in a November plebiscite over a potential Canadian bid in that city. Graz in Austria could also hold a public vote before its bid moves forward. Organizers from Erzurum in Turkey, Stockholm in Sweden, Sapporo in Japan and Italy will also study this document as the other cities that have entered the 2026 race.
Last month a bid from Sion in Switzerland dropped out of the race after losing a referendum that was required to approve funding for the event. Last year Innsbruck in Austria abandoned its 2026 project after the public voted against it. Both cites are just the latest in a string of European cities to reconsider Olympic bids due to perceived risks and cost concerns.
Previous editions of the IOC’s operational requirements had been revealed to include specific environmental conditions expected in meeting rooms to details around required luxury receptions of dignitaries and food provided in IOC members’ rooms. Many of the hospitality items have now been removed from the document.
Beijing will host the Winter Games in 2022. Tokyo will host the next Summer Games in 2020 followed by Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.
More to come…
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.