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Brisbane already preparing for 2032 Olympics

Brisbane already preparing for 2032 Olympics

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — There was no fanfare. No iconic announcement.

An Australian push to host the 2032 Olympics was elevated overnight to the status of preferred bid, and the people of Brisbane and southeast Queensland state woke up to the news on Feb. 25.

It’s not a done deal yet, but powerful Olympic official John Coates is vowing to get it across the finish line when the IOC makes the final call, which could be within 12 months.

“It was a long night…but a very mature decision from the IOC. To take a decision when you’ve still got a few other cities there and say ‘well, we’re going to go into targeted dialogue with one preferred city’ was a big call by them,” Coates said. “The IOC now deal exclusively with us while we complete the questionnaire. The other cities who have shown interest have been parked…it’s significant recognition.”

IOC president Thomas Bach told a news conference in Switzerland an IOC panel overseeing the bid process would begin “targeted dialogue” with Australian organizers.

The 2032 contest was expected to include Doha, Qatar, and Budapest, Hungary, which withdrew late from the 2024 contest to pave the way for Los Angeles being offered the 2028 Olympics. China, Germany, India, Indonesia and Russia were also working on possible bids for 2032.

Coates is a long-serving president of the Australian Olympic Committee, a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, the head of the co-ordination commission which assesses preparation for the Tokyo Games and an architect of the new process the IOC uses to select host cities.

He was heavily involved in Australia’s successful bid and running of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Melbourne hosted the 1956 Olympics and Coates has said for several years that Brisbane, Australia’s third-biggest city, would be next in line among the country’s contenders.

He said the IOC has reviewed plans and various feasibility studies and now the “federal government has to provide its undertakings in terms of security, things that’s done for any international event that comes here, border control, all of those things. So there’s work to be done in that area.”

The government leader of Queensland state, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the decision puts Queensland “in the box seat” and she was confident that the federal, state and municipal governments were “absolutely united in working together to make this happen.”

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison supported the bid during a meeting in Japan last year with IOC president Thomas Bach, and Palaszczuk had meetings with the IOC in Switzerland.

Palaszczuk said Brisbane and surrounding cities to the north, south and west already had 85 per cent of the venues required for the games and that was the “gamechanger” as the IOC seeks to cut the costs of hosting the games.

“We don’t have to build huge stadiums that are not going to be used in the future, and this gives hope and opportunity as we got through our economic recovery and plan for the future,” she said.

Organizers could either build a new, 50,000-seat main stadium for the opening ceremony and track and field competition, or upgrade one of the region’s existing stadiums. The other main construction would be a 15,000-seat aquatic centre, although there’s existing facilities in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast that could be upgraded.

Brisbane hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1982, the World Expo in 1988, the G20 Summit in 2014 and the Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games, using facilities across the region.

A conference of mayors spanning from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland’s southeast corner has been working for six years on planning the bid. It has a proposed budget of $4.5 billion but organizers say the cost to taxpayers would be minimized by the IOC’s contribution plus sponsorship and ticketing revenue.

“When we started this journey…many people were skeptical. Now we’re one step away from being named as the host of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said. “Today is not the time to get over-excited, there is still plenty of work to be done.”

Recent Comments (2 comments)

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Richard H Stracey Image Richard H Stracey

Please, please, not the Olympics! $4.5 billion? You know that will blow out to twice that. Transport is a mess as it is. The Brisbane government is digging a short tunnel to put a metro in which will not solve the problem and will turn out to be a total waste of money. Brisbane is by world standards a small (by population) provincial city spread over a very large are which causes unique problems. Digging holes is a last resort as in London where there was no other way or like Chengdu where they have over fourteen million potential customers to justify the immense cost. The only solution would be a monorail but the powers who be are not interested. Regardless we don’t want the Olympics. I suspect no one else wants them either.

Tania Ryan Image Tania Ryan

This is exciting for our city, state, and nation. Go Brisbane Go. We held a successful Commonwealth Games and I remember EXPO 88, how this positively changed Brisbane to the wonderful beautiful city it is today. Very excited for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the team in securing the deal for 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

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