POSTED: January 11th 2013

Istanbul 2020 proposes a series of groundbreaking firsts for the Games

The Istanbul 2020 venue plan for the Games / Istanbul 2020
The Istanbul 2020 venue plan for the Games / Istanbul 2020

CHAD WISE /  Sports Features Communications

January 11 – Istanbul 2020 revealed its innovative proposal for the Summer Olympic Games today, with the promise of an outstanding legacy for Turkey and the Olympic Games its main focus. Istanbul 2020 outlined its three pillars in its Candidature File, presented to the International Olympic Committee: Technical Excellence, an Incomparable Games Backdrop, and a Profound Legacy Impact.

Turkey’s Olympic Law in 1992 paved the way for a series a bids by the country in an effort to host a Games. In 20 years, Turkey has bid for five Olympic Games, the latest determined to align with The 2023 Master Plan: a development plan that will culminate with the centenary of the Republic in 2023.

Technical Excellence

Istanbul 2020’s bid will utilize four zones of The City on Seven Hills, each with a theme of sustainability, containing seven clusters and five precincts. Ten of the 36 proposed venues are planned to meet the requirements of pressing community and elite training needs. Eleven others are already in use, hosting top-class sporting events. Five venues in Istanbul 2020’s plan will be temporary and removable, while ten other permanent venues will be built with sustainability objectives and an everlasting legacy in mind.

Istanbul’s Games vision is more closely connected to municipal and national development objectives than any other previous bids, giving the infrastructure necessary to support Games of outstanding excellence. With many delivery frameworks and partners responsible for realizing Istanbul 2020’s vision already in place, tangible results can already be seen.

15,000 new homes, the equivalent of an Olympic Village, have been delivered by TOKI, the existing National Government agency responsible for construction, over the course of the past eight years, quarterly. Transport upgrades have seen a $1.2 billion investment since 2005, and new, extended Metro and rail lines, Bosphorus crossings, and the first phase of what will be the world’s largest airport, will all be completed before 2018. Istanbul will be able to offer athletes an average travel time of just 16 minutes from the Olympic City Village to venues in which they will compete.

A boom in the sports industry was caused by Turkey’s National Sports plan, as well. By 2014, $1.77 billion will be invested in 415 sports facilities and 24 new stadia in Turkey. Istanbul’s position as a trusted, capable host of world sport’s top-most properties has been proven by the country’s hosting of 12 major international sporting events, earning the title of 2012 European Capital of Sport.  Examples include the WTA Championships, which had record aggregate and average attendances and a $40 million economic impact for the city of Istanbul; the IAAF World Indoor Championships, which was a sell-out; and the FINA World Championships, which brought more than 900 athletes from 160 National Federations to Europe’s largest multipurpose arena, Sinan Erdem Arena. Turkey’s growing pool of event expertise will ensure Istanbul 2020’s ability to produce a concept that will create the ideal conditions for elite athletic performance.

The level of delivery capacity in place is set up by one of the most fertile financial markets on the planet. The 2012 sovereign credit rating upgrade to Investment Grade will generate an inflow of up to $32 billion in the next two years. Experts predict Turkey will be the fastest-growing OECD economy from 2011-2017, and the economy of Istanbul is now larger than 12 countries in the European Union.

Combined with an appetite for investment and development, the financial foundation has empowered the Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee’s government stakeholders – from the Prime Minister to every level of national, regional, and municipal government – to provide the financial guarantees necessary without qualification. A provision has also been made for an Innovation Fund, to be directed at specific initiatives to help enhance key aspects of Games delivery.

Incomparable Games Backdrop

Istanbul 2020 will be the first Olympic and Paralympic Games to take place in the secular democracy of Turkey. The Olympic Movement will be connected with a new and rapidly-developing market for the first time in history. Turkey contains a dynamic youth population of 50% under-25s and 20 million under the age of 20. The energy and passion of the region will be channelled into the Games, creating a single, unforgettable celebration of sport.

With Turkey a part of both Asia and Europe, Istanbul 2020 will also be the first time in history that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place across two continents simultaneously. Istanbul 2020 will be the crowning achievement of a city that has been a physical and philosophical meeting point for millennia, evolving into the world’s most symbolically-powerful and geopolitically-significant theatres.

Tradition meets innovation and the ancient meets the ultra-modern in one of Earth’s most iconic cities, Istanbul. A city of inspiration a 10-year, 200% tourism boom has seen it climb to the fifth-most visited city. Istanbul offers a cinematic backdrop to Olympic history not seen in preceding Games. With the stunning Bosphorus Strait at its heart, Istanbul 2020’s technical offering will be delivered with a unique flavor.

“This Candidature File defines a compact, convenient, and compelling technical concept that will guarantee athletes the best possible chance for personal best performances,” Ugur Erdener, IOC member and president of the Turkish NOC, said. “This time, Istanbul is ready to create the perfect stage for the greatest show on Earth.”

Profound Legacy Impact

The Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the defining achievement in the Turkish Republic’s 100-year history, driving immense positive change through the unique power of the Games.

Turkey will benefit from the opportunity to host the 2020 Games with a dramatic increase in mass sport participation with community facilities that reinvigorate grass roots sport, fresh opportunities for the region’s young people in an environment where innovation and young entrepreneurism can thrive, a fully-modernized and fully-accessible transport and tourism infrastructure, and a completely regenerated Haydarpasa Port area, including 625 hectares of reclaimed green space.

Istanbul 2020 will inspire the world by a celebration of unity in diversity; a more harmonious international community. One of the world’s oldest civilizations will begin a new chapter with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and will fully-energize the Olympic brand through an unprecedented wealth of cinematic moments.

“This is a new bid for a new Turkey,” Hasan Arat, leader of the Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee, said. “We have developed a technical solution that will meet the very highest standards of the Olympic Movement and placed it against a backdrop that no city in the world can match, and we are delighted to be sharing it with the Olympic family.”

Istanbul is competing with Madrid and Tokyo for the right of Host City of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and the XVI Olympic Games in 2020. The final vote that will unveil the selected host will take place in Buenos Aires on 7 September 2013.

~ Twitter @SportsFeatures / Facebook

Keywords · Istanbul 2020 · IOC · Hasan Arat · Ugur Erdener

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.