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  • Salzburg Sets the Pace for 2014 Olympics Bids


    06/19/06

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 align=right border=0> <TBODY> <TR> <TD> <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=150 border=0> <TBODY> <TR> <TD colSpan=2><IMG src="/_images/articles/OldStories/PowerIndexlogo.png"></TD></TR> <TR> <TD style="PADDING-RIGHT: 5px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; PADDING-TOP: 5px"><SPAN class=caption><B></B></SPAN></TD> <TD width=12>&nbsp;</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>(ATR) All seven cities in the race for the 2014 Winter Olympics have improved their numbers in the fourth edition of the Around the Rings 2014 Power Index, the world's most authoritative ranking of cities bidding for the Olympics. <BR><BR>These latest rankings are the direct result of on-the-scene reports from each of the seven cities by the Around the Rings team during the past six months. <BR><BR>Salzburg sets the pace for the race, especially in terms of technical aspects and infrastructure. It garnered 86 out of a possible 110 points.<BR><BR>PyeongChang is number two, but it is a mere two points ahead of a strong bid from Sochi. With 75 points, the Russian resort is keeping up with the Korean bid.<BR><BR>Sofia jumps 14 points to wind up in fourth place, with 68 points.<BR><BR>Almaty, formerly in fourth place, drops to fifth. With 64 points, it is tied with the bid from Jaca.<BR><BR>Borjomi, making its first-ever bid from Georgia, scores 10 points better following an ATR inspection. However, it remains in sixth place, with 51 points. <BR><BR>The index is the fourth edition from Around the Rings since the campaign for 2014 began in July 2005. The last index came in Feb. 27, at the conclusion of the Turin Olympics. <BR><BR>The 11-category Power Index covers a range of technical points as well as more subjective areas, such as the ambience of a city or the last time an Olympics were held in the city or nation. The first nmumber in each ranking is the current score; the second is the score from the February edition of the Power Index. <BR><BR>This latest index comes just as the IOC gets ready to declare a short list of an expected three or four cities. Those making the cut will be invited to submit formal bids early next year.<BR><BR>IOC President Jacques Rogge is scheduled to announce the finalists at IOC headquarters in Lausanne June 22. The Executive Board will decide the list that morning. <BR><BR>It is possible that finalists named by the IOC will correspond to first through fourth rankings in the ATR Power Index. It is also possible that Almaty, tied for fifth with Jaca, could vault over Sofia to claim a fourth spot on the short list. An Almaty candidacy would balance the field into two Asian candidates and two from Europe.<BR><BR>Three of the cities -- Almaty, Borjomi and Sofia -- are at a disadvantage because they do not have an IOC member from their countries. <BR><BR> <TABLE class=content cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=500 border=0> <TBODY> <TR> <TD style="PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 12px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-TOP: 3px" vAlign=top align=middle colSpan=8><STRONG>Around the Rings 2014 Winter Olympics Bid Power Index, June 20, 2006</STRONG></TD></TR> <TR> <TD vAlign=top width=92> <P></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=47> <P align=center><STRONG>Almaty </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=46> <P align=center><STRONG>Borjomi </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=45> <P align=center><STRONG>Jaca </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=89> <P align=center><STRONG>PyeongChang </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=60> <P align=center><STRONG>Salzburg </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=42> <P align=center><STRONG>Sochi </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=49> <P align=center><STRONG>Sofia </STRONG></P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center bgColor=#d9d9ff> <TD width=92> <P>Accommodation </P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>4 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>4 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>7 </P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center> <TD width=92> <P>Ambience</P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>8 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>7 </P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center bgColor=#d9d9ff> <TD width=92> <P>Bid Operation </P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>5 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>5 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>5 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>8 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>9 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>5 </P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center> <TD width=92> <P>Games Cost </P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>4 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>4 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>5 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>8 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>3 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>3 </P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center bgColor=#d9d9ff> <TD width=92> <P>Last Games </P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>7 </P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center> <TD width=92> <P>Legacy </P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>5 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>8 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>8 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>7 </P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center bgColor=#d9d9ff> <TD width=92> <P>Marketing </P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>3 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>3 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>5 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>8 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>6 </P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center> <TD width=92> <P>Gov/Pub Support </P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>9 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>9 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>9 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>7 </P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center bgColor=#d9d9ff> <TD width=92> <P>Security </P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>3 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>7 </P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center> <TD width=92> <P>Transportation </P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>2 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>5 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>9 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>6 </P></TD></TR> <TR vAlign=center bgColor=#d9d9ff> <TD width=92> <P>Venues/Exp. </P></TD> <TD width=47> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=46> <P align=center>4 </P></TD> <TD width=45> <P align=center>7 </P></TD> <TD width=89> <P align=center>8 </P></TD> <TD width=60> <P align=center>9 </P></TD> <TD width=42> <P align=center>6 </P></TD> <TD width=49> <P align=center>6 </P></TD></TR> <TR> <TD vAlign=top width=92> <P><STRONG>POWER INDEX (previous rank) </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=47> <P align=center><STRONG>64 (57) </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=46> <P align=center><STRONG>51 (41) </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=45> <P align=center><STRONG>64 (56) </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=89> <P align=center><STRONG>77 (76) </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=60> <P align=center><STRONG>86 (80) </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=42> <P align=center><STRONG>75 (74) </STRONG></P></TD> <TD vAlign=top width=49> <P align=center><STRONG>68 (54) </STRONG></P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><BR><BR><BR> <P><B>City by City</B></P><BR> <P><STRONG>1. Salzburg (86/80): </STRONG>Venues exists; transport exist. Winter sport experience and public enthusiasm is high. Still does not have a message that would drive international enthusiasm for the bid. Repeat visits to Salzburg confirm the city has the amenities and sophistication to stage the Games. Easiest of the 2014 bids to reach by air. </P><BR> <P><STRONG>2. PyeongChang (77/76): </STRONG>The importance of major improvements to surface transport, such as roads and rail, cannot be ignored in PyeongChang, where important venues are spread throughout the Gangwon region. No doubts about Korea's ability to build what's needed, but the construction list is long and some in environmentally sensitive land. While Gangwon is a popular destination for Korean holiday makers, much needs to be done to meet the needs of the hordes of westerners who will come for the Olympics. </P><BR> <P><STRONG>3. Sochi, Russia (75/74): </STRONG>Sochi has the strongest campaign for the Games among the seven cities, led by excellent communicators. This helps with the media, but more importantly with IOC members. There are enormous challenges facing Sochi: nearly every venue needs to be constructed, but a $12 billion commitment from the federal government to build what's needed is now official. </P><BR> <P><STRONG>4. Sofia, Bulgaria (68/54): </STRONG>Sofia's score for security picked up strength following ATR's visit in April: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in town at the same time, but the city still functioned with the security lockdown. Legacy is an important part of the bid for Sofia, with a number of new venues to be built for the Games. Transport to venues outside the city is an issue. Bansko, the host of alpine skiing, is 150km from Sofia . More involvement from the Bulgarian Olympic Committee is needed for the bid to gain international traction. As the only capital city in the 2014 race, Sofia offers urban amenities missing from other bids. </P><BR> <P><STRONG>5. Almaty, Kazakhstan (64/57): </STRONG>Almaty seems to be the political favorite to join the group of 2014 finalists, although it still has some work to do to catch the leaders. An excellent geographic position, with mountains on the edge of Almaty, and a prosperous and supportive national government, make the city a contender. More hotels, better transit and a number of new venues are needed for Almaty. Will need help mounting a serious international campaign if named to the short list. </P><BR> <P><STRONG>6. Jaca, Spain (64/56): </STRONG>Jaca wins points for its mountain atmosphere, and Zaragoza's urban offerings. While the bid carries the name of Jaca, the mountain village will hold no medal events. One of two Olympic Villages will be in Jaca, which will also serve as the operation center of the Games. Distances will be a real concern. A proposed train link is will cut travel between Jaca and Zaragosa about 30 minutes. From Jaca to ski venues is another 30 minutes. Good support from the Spanish Olympic Committee, but Jaca may not be able to compete internationally against rivals with larger teams in the 2014 race. </P><BR> <P><STRONG>7. Borjomi, Georgia (51/41): </STRONG>The charm and appeal of Borjomi is natural and unspoiled, but the absence of infrastructure such as hotels, roads and venues makes this a daunting first-time bid. Confusing to the image of Borjomi, marquee ice events will be held in Tbilisi, the national capital 125 km away. All the snow and sliding events take place in Bakuriani, another village 25 km from Borjomi. Borjomi itself will only serve as a transport and accommodations center. Tensions are on the rise with Russia, which has banned imports of Georgia's famous mineral water and wines; Russia also has been egging on secessionist movements in Georgia. </P><BR> <UL><B>The Categories Explained</B><BR><BR> <LI><EM>Accommodation:</EM> Quantity, quality<BR><BR> <LI><EM>Ambience: </EM>Is the city comfortable, tourist-friendly, a pleasure to visit?<BR><BR> <LI><EM>Bid Operation: </EM>Leadership, strategy and public relations<BR><BR> <LI><EM>Games Cost and Finance:</EM> The projected bill for operating the Olympics and the infrastructure needed, unusual finance risks. Higher scores indicate lower costs.<BR><BR> <LI><EM>Last Games in the Country: </EM>Years since last summer or winter Olympics. Higher the score, the longer since the games. Some credit could be given for recent Olympic bids. <BR><BR> <LI><EM>Legacy: </EM>Impact of the Olympics in a city; sustainable venues<BR><BR> <LI><EM>Marketing: </EM>The size and impact of marketing programs<BR><BR> <LI><EM>Government &amp; Public Support:</EM> The commitment of government and populace for a Games<BR><BR> <LI><EM>Security: </EM>Reputation and quality of security, perceptions of risk<BR><BR> <LI><EM>Transportation:</EM> Ease of travel, multiple transport options, airports, quality of public transit, taxis<BR></LI></UL><BR><BR><BR><EM>Photo Galleries of the 2014 cities are now on line. <A href="http://www.aroundtherings.com/gallery_index.php" target=_blank>Click here</A> to see the Winter 2014 Olympic candidates photo galleries.</EM><BR><BR><BR><B>Your best source of news about the race for 2014 is <A href="http://www.aroundtherings.com" target=_blank>www.aroundtherings.com</A>, for subscribers only.</B>