Looking to cut costs, IOC to allow joint bid of Olympic Games

1st Games to benefit could be 2020 Olympics with organisers pushing for inclusion of baseball and softball.

By: Reuters | Lausanne | Updated: November 19, 2014 1:12 pm
Bid cities will be “invited” to a dialogue with the IOC to determine how it plans to integrate the Games into the city’s plans for the future. (Source: AP file) Bid cities will be “invited” to a dialogue with the IOC to determine how it plans to integrate the Games into the city’s plans for the future. (Source: AP file)

Bidding for the Olympics is set to become cheaper, easier and more attractive while sports will enter the Games quicker, the IOC said on Tuesday, presenting the biggest changes in decades in the way the Games are organised and run.

“We have to look into the future and try to address the challenges which may arise in the future and the challenges we have already now,” said International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, presenting the IOC’s 40 recommendations.

“We want to show with this procedure that the IOC is opening up, that we are opening a window and we want to have fresh wind coming in,” he told reporters. Bid cities will no longer need to abide by extensive prerequisites or carry the considerable financial burden if the recommendations are approved, as expected, at the IOC session in Monaco in December.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the organisation of the Olympic Games,” said Bach. Bid cities will be “invited” to a dialogue with the IOC to determine how it plans to integrate the Games into the city’s plans for the future.

Future hosts will also be allowed to stage events outside the city or “in exceptional cases”, outside the country for reasons of sustainability, breaking with a long Olympic tradition of one host city/nation. Sports will also not wait seven years from being approved for their first appearance, and instead could be brought in for just one Olympics to maximise the Games’ reach and attraction.

The first Games to benefit could be the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with organisers pushing for the inclusion of baseball and softball.

Organising committees can propose the addition of “one or more additional events” on the programme after their city is elected for that one edition of the Games, with the Games programme becoming more events-based rather than sports-based. The IOC can also propose new events, Bach said.

“Now the door is open (for sports). The IOC by itself can also take a decision that we are adding this or that event,” Bach said. He added: “It only has to happen before the city is elected so that candidates know what they have to deal with. Any changes after can happen in agreement with the host city.”

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