The Comm and Gender Spot

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Olympics Bidding Process

After reading my recent post about the possible bid cities that would like to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games I had a question asking me how a city actually becomes the host city. They wanted to know what the actual process was in becoming a nation’s nominee to the international process and what a location has to do at the international level to prevail in winning the games. It is an interesting process, but what one has to remember is that a certain level of luck comes into play and the recent history of the games can impact a decision.

A city that desires to host an Olympic Games must first make it past the nomination process on a national level. For example, in the recent bids for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games New York City was the United States nominee to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They competed against eight other cities. Cincinnati, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Tampa were eliminated in 2001 and did not make the short list of possible U.S. host cities. New York City then prevailed after further consideration by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) over the other cities that did make the short list: San Francisco, Houston, and Washington D.C.

The national choice is then submitted to the IOC. The IOC then sends the host city a questionnaire so that they are better able to understand what structural, infrastructural and monetary factors will have an impact if the IOC grants the games to the city. From the big list of possible cities the IOC evaluates the questionnaires and shortens the list to the possible Candidate Cities. Typically this list comprises of approximately five or six cities, but recent history has shown this list to be as short as three cities or as long as seven. During the process for the 2012 Summer Games the cities that did not make the Candidate List were Havana, Cuba; Leipzig, Germany; Istanbul, Turkey; and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Those that made the cut to the Candidate List in addition to New York City were Paris, France; Moscow, Russia; Madrid, Spain; and the eventual winner of the process London, England.

The Candidate Cites must then prepare bid books in which all possible information pertaining to their hosting the games must be included. (Click on each of the cities here to see their 2012 bid book: New York City, Moscow, London. Paris and Madrid's are no longer available online.) These bid books are reviewed and visits to the city are arranged by members the IOC. The IOC members that visited the city then prepare a report that evaluates their visit. A formal bid by the Candidate City is then submitted to the IOC prior to voting. The host city is finally decided by secret ballot.

The secret ballot may take as little as one round of voting, depending on the number of Candidate Cities or an overwhelming number of votes to one city. For the 2012 Summer Olympics the secret balloting proceeded for four rounds. Round one saw Moscow receive the least number of votes and London receive the most. New York was eliminated and Madrid moved into the lead with the most votes. What was a surprising move in the third round Madrid moved from first to worst and was eliminated from the voting. London eventually prevailed, garnering the most votes in round three and four, eventually eliminating Paris as a possible Candidate City.

It’s a long process over that takes approximately two to three years. One that can be very fruitful for the city that is granted the opportunity to host the Olympic Games and one that can be very costly to those who don’t get them.


Post a Comment

<< Home