Queensland Olympic Council president Natalie Cook high-fives fans in Brisbane. Photo: AFP
sports

Brisbane tipped to be awarded 2032 Olympics

35 Comments
By Holly ROBERTSON

Recent Olympics have been wracked by controversy, cost blowouts and coronavirus chaos but the residents of Brisbane, strongly tipped to host the 2032 Games, look ready to welcome the event with open arms.

The sun-drenched Australian city appears all but certain to be anointed 2032 hosts on Wednesday when the International Olympic Committee holds a vote in Tokyo ahead of the delayed 2020 Games.

In other cities, a bid to host an event of such magnitude might prompt demonstrations, or at the very least vigorous public debate. Yet residents of Brisbane have greeted the news with enthusiasm.

"The city is gorgeous, the people are beautiful. And it would be lovely to get something like this happening in the city," Marium Ammar, who moved to Brisbane from Pakistan seven years ago, told AFP.

Qatar had also been in the running to host the 2032 Olympics and there was a long-shot joint bid between South and North Korea.

But being wealthy and sports-mad puts Australia in poll position, according to Judith Mair, a tourism and events expert at the University of Queensland.

"Australia's in a very fortunate position of being able to afford to stage one of these big events," she told AFP. "There are many countries around the world that might perhaps like to but actually are not in a financial position to be able to do so."

Australia has already hosted the Olympics twice, in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000, widely considered one of the most successful Games in recent history.

Home to about 2.3 million people and bookended by shimmering coastal sands, Brisbane is seen as more laid-back and less cosmopolitan than Australia's sprawling southern cities.

Venues would be spread across Brisbane and nearby cities in Queensland state, including the Gold Coast which hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

There are hopes the Olympics would boost Brisbane's international profile, making it more attractive to tourists who tend to use it as a jumping-off point for attractions like the Great Barrier Reef.

"I travelled the world and they say, 'Where's Brisbane?' And you have to get out the map and show them it's an hour north by plane of Sydney," said Queensland Olympic Council president Natalie Cook. "That's going to change. And that is so exciting."

Games organizers trialled a new dialogue-based bid system for 2032 after cities shied away from the previous competitive process, wary of soaring costs and being lumbered with white elephant stadiums.

The so-called "New Norm" reforms unveiled in 2018 also allow for the use of existing venues, including smaller-capacity stadiums, as well as temporary infrastructure.

With about 85 percent of venues already built in and around Brisbane, Australia is hoping these changes will keep costs down. The city projects an operating budget of A$4.5 billion (U.S.$3.4 billion) -- compared to U.S.$15.4 billion for the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games.

The IOC is chipping in A$2.5 billion, and with ticket sales and sponsorship expected to cover the rest, Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates has predicted the event would break even.

Millicent Kennelly, a senior lecturer in tourism and sport at Griffith University, said rosy economic projections should be "taken with a grain of salt" given the history of Olympic events failing to stay on budget.

"I think there's a degree of risk associated with taking on an event of that scale so far in advance," she added. "There's been a huge amount of uncertainty globally for quite some time, financially with (issues like) COVID, climate change. So it is a gamble in that respect."

Brisbane's bid is being championed by Queensland state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who arrived in Tokyo on Monday, and has support from across Australia's political divide, including from the conservative federal government.

No public polling has been released but officials say community engagement has been positive, and a feasibility study by consultants KPMG estimates the event could bring A$17.61 billion in economic and social benefits to Australia.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, who also is in Tokyo to make a final pitch to the IOC, said Wednesday's vote marked a "crucial turning point in the city's history".

"This is going to be a pivotal moment for Brisbane and Queensland. This is a moment that people will remember," he said.

Resident Louise Corrigan, 46, said her only potential concern would be if younger generations were left saddled with debt, but she "absolutely" supported a well-budgeted Olympics in Brisbane.

"I can't wait to attend," she told AFP. "I just think it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


35 Comments
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And the curse continues.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

"awarded".... dear oh dear!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

residents of Brisbane have greeted the news with enthusiasm.

Man, I've never been to Brisbane before but are the people there really that naive?

Seriously, Brisbane residents, you have no idea what you are signing yourselves up for.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Take a pass, Australia. Tokyo has huge buyer’s remorse.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Don't do it you mugs!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Caveat emptor.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Australia is used to giving up control to others. I mean we've done so with China for years, so giving up control to the IOC is a walk in the park for us.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Congratulations Brisie! I'm actually looking forward to this one. I'm sure their Prime Minister is more organized. Hopefully, Bach won't be in charge at that time.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It says it all that there are NO other contenders who actually want this nonsense.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Will they still be under hard lockdown?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Check the contracts, double check the terms and conditions, and triple check the list of 7,000 pages of special requests that will be ordered, such as Coca Cola in every fridge, alcoholic drinks at every meal opportunity, increased rotation of buffet meals for extra choice, staff being required to smile, VIP traffic lane for IOC family, meeting with PM, etc..

Oslo's rejection for 2022 is visible for all on the www.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Lobbying is the key to get the games.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Will they still be under hard lockdown?

I guess they could always run it to empty venues, Japan style!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

'Dialog-based bid system' .. Don't you just love corporate double speak! Meeting were held, deals were fleshed out... Besides, Brisbane was declared 'Preferred candidate city' back in Feburary anyway.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Brisbane had a 3 week lockdown about 15 months ago. We have had no covid sickness or deaths since then. I am not sure if many people want the Olympics it has never really been discussed.

What we do have is a lot of great sports facilities. We could hold the games quite easily in a week's time if necessary. We are selling so much coal and iron ore for huge prices that money is no problem any way.

It is the middle of winter here now so perfect weather for outdoor sports. 23-25 degrees every day very little rain if any at all.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, who also is in Tokyo to make a final pitch to the IOC, said Wednesday's vote marked a "crucial turning point in the city's history".

No need for a pitch...IOC will award the games to Brissie since there is no other city foolish enough to really want this money pit. Adrian and Anastasia should back out while they still can...alas money and politics.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The Olympics should be permanently relocated to Athens, where they originated. This travelling circus about politicians showing off their power is ridiculous.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Why would ANYONE want to host the Olympics now is beyond me.

Will they still be under hard lockdown?

Do you think Bach cares?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Awarded ? Don't you mean Burdened ?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Chico3;

”I’m sure their Prime Minister is more organised”

Actually, no, he isn’t. He’s a wish-washy, inept, responsibility-avoiding apparatchik. Sound like anyone you know? Fortunately, he’s extremely unlikely to still be in power in 2032.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hi from Brisbane. We dont want it, nobody is looking forward to and there was a petition that got 150,000 signatures for the politicians in charge to NOT visit Japan. Its politics- an unpopular party in charge trying to keep in charge knowing they wont be blamed when the Olympics costs a fortune, as they will all have moved on to cushy jobs in the private sector.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Brisbane is all but guaranteed to take a swig from the poisoned chalice because nobody else wants it. All at taxpayers' expense while the IOC rolls around in piles of other people's money like cartoonish supervillains.

Palaschuk jumped the queue for her jab so she could fly off at taxpayers' expense with a handful of other gravy-trainers to secure an even hardly anyone wants and nobody needs.

I could've saved QLD a lot of money in airfares and pricey accommodation, slapped together a 5 minute Powerpoint presentation and still won the 2032 games for Brisbane for the cost of a round-trip shinkansen fare to Tokyo and lunch at a Doutor. But it was never about that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The money wasted on the failed bid for 1992 should have been a hint never to go there again. Some people need to learn the hard way clearly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bad luck Brisbane!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As Ben noted, a lot of people in Brisbane and surrounding areas do now want it.

Sure it is a great place for a summer Olympics in ‘winter’ (as I am from the Sunshine Coast which will also have a lot of events and training camps) but the crap that comes with the Olympics for a 2 week party that is NOT for the people paying it… too high.

I love being there each August, pre-pandemic, not to hot to do all the sports I love and warm enough to swim, surf and dive… perfect sports place. Wrong place for the Olympics.

If Queensland spent 4.5 billion AUS on promotion between now and 2032… EVERY single person on the planet would know where it it. Geez… they could fund 45 Netflix movies and TV series totally about QLD…. Or a few thousand documentaries and so on.

What a waste of my parents’ and my families tax payer money. Just as my 21 years of paying tax in Japan is wasted on the Olympics this year.

Send the Olympics back to Greece, and make the IOC pay for them all! Lock in a 100 year deal. Let Greece make a profit.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yeah…….you guys might wanna pass on the offer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let the countries like India or North Korea try it at least. Give them some chance to make an unique event.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Zaphod

The Olympics should be permanently relocated to Athens, where they originated. 

Greece is broke and will probably never host an Olympic game again.

The reason Greece went into financial crisis was because of debt from 2004 Olympics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ZaphodJuly 19  03:39 pm JST

The Olympics should be permanently relocated to Athens, where they originated. This travelling circus about politicians showing off their power is ridiculous.

That is a good idea. Another option would be for Greece to create their own version of the Olympics, and see if that catches on. Either way, their economy would be invigorated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Olympics should be permanently relocated to Athens, where they originated.

Greece is broke and I don't see the refugee crisis abating.

It is the middle of winter here now so perfect weather for outdoor sports. 23-25 degrees every day very little rain if any at all.

This is a great selling point in the age of climate change. The summer games should be held in the southern hemisphere.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Planning on visiting Greece next month. Will do an informal survey while I'm there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I've been to Brisbane. My impression was that, overall, the people were very civil, very educated, polite, very reasonable, and not to mention some of the most genuinely nicest people I've had the pleasure of being around. Not fair to call them naive because a few of you have a weird grudge against the Olympics.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The insurance Agreement MUST BE REVISED for the safety of everyone. In case of a pandemic or some catastrophic circumstance the games CAN BE CANCELED and still get reimbursed.

Otherwise it is too risky to be a host.

Unless they are willing to postpone the games not just by a year but until deemed possible without strain. And move all games forward like a domino effect.

After this game IOC must discuss this with the insurance companies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Make no mistake, this is all John Coates working behind the scenes sparing the IOC the embarrassment of no city bidding.

feel sorry for the people of Australia the vast majority of whom no doubt want no part of this sham.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tokyo ended up costing 30 billion plus, Brisbane. Don't believe for a minute you'll get it done for less than 5 billion. You're the only candidate for god's sake, so why even bother lying?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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