POSTED: October 20th 2016
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DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ: Olympic Agenda 2020 Revisited - Impacts on the 2024 Bids...

IOC President Thomas Bach and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike © Getty Images
IOC President Thomas Bach and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike © Getty Images

IOC President Bach explains discussions to the international press © Getty Images
IOC President Bach explains discussions to the international press © Getty Images


 

THE DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ COLUMN in SHANGHAI / An authoritative and exclusive series from Sports Features Communications

 

(SFC) With news from IOC President Thomas Bach and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike of the need to commission a four-person working group to address the rising costs of the Tokyo 2024 Summer Olympics, we are reminded of the upcoming second anniversary of the approval of Olympic Agenda 2020.

 

The detailed information about Olympic Agenda 2002 can be found on the IOC website:  https://www.olympic.org/olympic-agenda-2020 .  In summary, Olympic Agenda 2020 is a strategic plan for the Olympic Movement that encompasses 40 recommendations to ensure the future viability of the Olympic Games and strengthen sport in society around the world.   


Central to this strategic plan is significant changes to the candidature process for bidding to host Olympic Games by reducing costs to bid, reducing the number of presentations required, and adjusting the financial contribution model from the IOC to candidates.  


Another important focus is requiring bids to look at the long-term planning of the economic, social, environmental, and sport development needs of the candidate in terms of good governance, ethics, integrity, and financial transparency.

 

While Olympic Agenda 2020 is being applied to Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 retrospectively, the bid process for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games is the first applying the new guidelines from start to finish.  This has been a significant benefit to a city such as Budapest, Hungary because the new guidelines have helped put smaller countries and cities on an equal ground to large cities such as their opponents in this bid process - Los Angeles and Paris.

 

One of the bid advantages spelled out in Olympic Agenda 2020 is the goal of preventing 'white elephant' Olympic sites by allowing more sport events to take place outside the main metropolis of the host city.  According to Budapest 2024 Communications Director Ivan Rosza, "through Agenda 2020, we believe the IOC is getting back to the roots of sport and wants to make it more accessible to people. Central Europe has never put on a Summer Olympics... and we can leave a new legacy for sport... providing a new vitality for sport".

 

Los Angeles, who came into the bidding process at the last moment because of the USOC choice - Boston  - ended their plan to bid just six weeks prior to the final candidate cities being named, have had some catching up to do. According to their website, they are "committed to hosting a fiscally responsible and profitable Games that includes multiple protections against any potential cost overruns... including if selected that the organizing committee will indemnify the city for all of its incremental costs and obligations related to the operation of the Games... as well as the budget for the purchase of a substantial insurance package to protect the city against unexpected liabilities.

 

As far as Paris, IOC President Thomas Bach recently visited the city and stated that their bid project is "excellent and in line with Olympic Agenda 2020", with specific mention in the areas of sustainability and legacy - something all the bids have shown strength with.  

However, there are still some questions being raised across multiple media outlets about safety and security despite France hosting other major sporting events including UEFA 2016 - with reports showing that more than 200 people have been killed in terrorist-related incidents since the start of 2015.  


French President Francois Hollande - who is up for re-election next year and may not see the end of the bid process - has stated "I have no idea how the world will look like in 2024, but it will necessarily be dangerous.  There is not a single country or capital that might think it will be immune... we have been confronted by this reality for a while, but we have what it takes to protect an event like the 2024 Olympics."

 

So what are some of the overall concerns as this bid process moves on?  Will candidate cities use 'smoke and mirrors' to usurp the Olympic Agenda 2020 guidelines when it comes to crunch time?  What will the significant reduction in civic cash available to the bid processes mean?   What role will safety and security play in the process?  How about political stability - or lack thereof?  What about the effects of Brexit on the global economy?  And let us not forget about the importance of environmental issues that will surely be a focal point for the bids.

 

Should be an interesting next 11 months to follow leading up to the 130th Olympic Session in Lima, Peru in September 2017, where the choice of the host for the 2024 Summer Olympics will be announced.

 

**DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ is a tenured Senior Lecturer of Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. He has been an academician for 15 years in the areas of sport business management, international tourism, and hospitality management - with special focus on the areas of sport marketing, sport finance, tourism, and facility/event management. He speaks globally and is the author of numerous publications in these areas, as well as been actively involved in consulting projects working with a multitude of sport and community organizations ranging from grassroots efforts to hallmark events.


Keywords · Olympics · Tokyo 2020 · Agenda 2020


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