Olympics boss flags $2.5b boost for Qld bid

Queensland’s Mayors say their plans to bid for the 2032 Olympics have been given a shot in the arm after the International Olympic Committee announced plans to boost funding by $2.5 billion for host cities.   

IOC chief Dr Thomas Bach on Monday told Queensland Mayors that the host city of the 2032 Games would receive a funding boost of  a minimum of $2.5 billion, making the Games potentially profitable for the region, according to the Mayors.

The news comes after a feasibility study into a bid, commissioned by Queensland’s Mayors, earlier this year cited net operating costs at around $900 million. The additional funds would make hosting a “cost-neutral” Games not only “possible” for the region, but also a potential windfall.

The feasibility study in February cited a net operating cost of $5.3 billion and offsets of $1.7 billion from the IOC and $2.7 billion of domestic revenue, leaving $900 million in net operating costs, which would now be offset by the IOC’s latest $2.5 billion funding boost.

During a meeting on Monday in Brisbane with Dr Bach and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates, the Council of Mayors (SEQ) were told by Dr Bach the IOC had boosted funding for the 2024 and 2028 Games.

Dr Bach shared his long-term vision for the Games, including plans to dramatically reduce operating costs of hosting the Games for cities.

“We were advised we are contributing $US1.8 billion to the success of the Olympic games in Los Angeles in 2028 and that at least so far we have no indication this will be less for 2032,” Dr Bach told a media conference after the meeting.

He said the IOC had been impressed by the depth of Queensland’s feasibility studies at such an early stage.

The SEQ meeting with the IOC and AOC on Monday.

Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chair and Brisbane Lord Mayor Cr Adrian Schrinner said the meeting reinforced the SEQ Mayors’ belief that a sensible and cost effective Olympic Games could support the goals of the region by improving transport, regional connectivity and economic stimulus.

“The Council of Mayors (SEQ) embarked on its investigations of an SEQ Olympic Games because we believed it would act as a catalyst and firm deadline for the much-needed delivery of transport infrastructure for our region,” said Cr Schrinner.

“Today’s discussions with Dr Bach showed us how committed the IOC are to ensuring future Olympic Games are not only financially sound, but also provide positive momentum for cities and regions to reach their long-term social, environmental and economic goals.”

AOC President John Coates said that any future bid would need to focus on leveraging existing infrastructure and building infrastructure and community facilities that would support the future growth of the region, not just an Olympic Games.

“The Olympic Movement is now stressing the need for innovative approaches to bidding for and hosting an Olympic Games to ensure costs are reined in and infrastructure is built where there is an identified long-term need,” said Mr Coates.

“Right now, Los Angeles is preparing to host the 2028 Games where close to 100 percent of Olympic venues and facilities are being accommodated within existing structures across the city. This is what the future of the Olympic Movement looks like.

“Today we were able to give the IOC President a first hand understanding of the natural advantages SEQ has to offer and how this fits perfectly with the direction the IOC has taken in making the Games more flexible and affordable.”

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