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  • ATR Olympic Bid Power Index - One Month To Go, Munich Edges Ahead


    06/06/11

    (ATR) With just one month to go before the IOC vote in Durban, Munich edges ahead of PyeongChang in the final edition of the Around the Rings Olympic Bid Power Index for the 2018 Winter Games. The French bid from Annecy still lags the field of three.

    Munich scores 83 points in the Power Index, followed by the bid from South Korea at 79 and Annecy with 69 out of a possible 100 points. In the March index, PyeongChang led Munich 77 to 74.

    Munich’s score is bolstered by one-point improvements in eight of the 10 categories including crucial factors such as accommodation, marketing, government/public support, transportation and venue plan.

    PyeongChang scores higher from the March Power Index in the categories of accommodation and venue plan; it remained steady in the other categories.

    Annecy posts gains in three categories but slips in accommodation, transportation and venue plan.

    The new Power Index results are based on the appearances by the three bid cities at international events such as SportAccord, the Technical Briefing held in Lausanne last month for IOC members, and the report of the IOC Evaluation Commission published in early May.

    Along with those developments, the rankings in the Around the Rings Olympic Bid Power Index also have been shaped by multiple-on-the-scene visits to each of the cities, along with interviews with bid leaders, IOC members and other experts.

    Led by Around the Rings Editor Ed Hula and European Editor Mark Bisson, the team compiling the ATR Power Index counts more than 20 years of hands-on experience covering bids for the Summer and Winter Olympics, as well as the Games themselves. The expertise and depth of knowledge of the ATR team is unmatched by any other publication. The index, now in its seventh year, is the Olympic industry’s de facto standard for evaluating Olympic bids, outside of official IOC reports.

    The 11 categories range from ambience to venue plans (see explanation of categories at bottom of this article). Two categories are subjective; the others are based on numbers provided by the bid cities or gathered by ATR. The rankings are not meant to predict the outcome of the IOC vote in July, but to show the relative strengths and weaknesses of each city.

    ATR Olympic Bid Power Index - June 2011
    Categories:
    Munich
    PyeongChang
    Annecy
    Accommodation
    8
    7
    5
    Ambience (out of 5)
    4
    2
    5
    Bid Operation (out of 5)
    4
    4
    4
    Games Cost
    8
    7
    7
    Last Games
    9
    9
    6
    Legacy
    8
    9
    7
    Marketing
    9
    8
    7
    Gov/Public Support
    9
    10
    7
    Security
    7
    7
    7
    Transport
    8
    7
    6
    Venues/Experience
    9
    9
    8
    POWER INDEX
    TOTALS
    83
    79
    69


    Annecy Improves Image

    Annecy seems to have emerged from its leadership problems with an energetic team forging on to the July 6 vote in Durban. But the IOC report confirms technical issues for transportation and accommodation, noting that “NOCs would experience operational and transport challenges” under the Annecy plan that calls for two Olympic Villages and two sub-sites.
    Annecy offers postcard views as part of its allure. (ATR)

    Perhaps the most scenic and touristic of the three bids, Annecy touts itself as offering an “authentic” Winter Olympic experience. But selling the "authentic” Games in a traditional village-style setting may be more attractive as a concept than the reality of what stakeholders ask for at a modern Olympics.

    The IOC report verifies an earlier report that the French bid returned the lowest level of public support among the three bids -- just 51percent.

    With Chamonix as the host of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, Grenoble in 1968 and Albertville in 1992, there is a wealth of experience and heritage of winter sports in Annecy. That has lessened the need for venue construction, minimizing the costs of preparation. Same goes for infrastructure, with existing highways and rail service connecting Annecy to Europe. A Games would boost the legacy for some winter sports in France.

    Some Momentum for Munich

    Munich received a significant boost in May when voters in Garmisch-Partenkirchen voted in favor of a ballot measure endorsing staging alpine events in the Bavarian mountain town. Then on the eve of the IOC Technical Briefing in Lausanne, bid organizers were able to seal the deal for a final parcel of land needed to stage the downhill run.
    BMW is the official car of the Munich 2018 bid. (ATR)

    Among the three bids, the team from Munich has made the strongest pitches at international events. The persuasive team of speakers includes Thomas Bach, Katarina Witt and BMW marketing chief Ian Robertson on financial benefits of the Games. It has fallen to Bach to make the point that Germany -- said to be the world’s top country for winter sport -- has not held the Winter Games in nearly 80 years.

    Transforming some of the 1972 Olympic facilities into ice venues is a neat trick that will go down well with IOC members with memories of those Summer Games. The Snow Park in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also impressive. Likewise Kandahar ski resort proved its credentials this year with the staging of the skiing world champs, while the site of the ski jump at the old 1936 Olympic Stadium has a sense of history and charm.

    PyeongChang Compactness Winner

    PyeongChang has a solid plan for the Games recognized in the IOC Evaluation Commission report for its compactness. With just two villages and venues generally 10 to 20 minutes apart, the PyeongChang plan might be easiest to handle, even with the gateway airport of Incheon two+ hours away. That travel time will be cut in half with the construction of a high speed rail line linking the Olympic venues to Seoul.
    PyeongChang is bidding for a third straight time. (ATR)

    Recognizing the need to boost the ambiance and charm of rural PyeongChang, $80 million is budgeted to create a “world of Korea experience”.

    While a technically strong bid, the international presentations made by PyeongChang don’t offer the same level of charisma as its rivals. But what spark is missing there may be more than made up by the towering public and governmental support for what would be South Korea’s first Olympic Winter Games.

    Olympic legacy would mean a sliding center, new ski runs and a skating oval. But bid leaders hope the real legacy of the Games would be substantial growth for winter sport in Korea and Asia. The notion of PyeongChang as the first Winter Olympics in South Korea will offer a major edge over Annecy or Munich.

    The Categories Explained

    10 points for each category, except Ambiance and Bid Operation, which are scored 5 points each due to more subjective aspects of these categories. This results in a total possible score of 100 points across the 11 categories.

    Accommodation: Quantity, quality

    Ambiance: Is the city comfortable, tourist-friendly, a pleasure to visit?

    Bid Operation: Leadership, strategy and public relations

    Games Cost and Finance: Projected bill for operating the Olympics and infrastructure needed, unusual finance risks. Higher scores indicate lower costs.

    Last Games in the Country: Years since last summer or winter Olympics. The higher the score, the longer since the Games. Some credit could be given for recent Olympic bids.

    Legacy: Impact of the Olympics in a city; sustainable venues

    Marketing: The size and impact of marketing programs

    Government & Public Support: The commitment of government and population to a Games

    Security: Reputation and quality of security, perceptions of risk

    Transportation: Ease of travel, multiple transport options, airports, quality of public transit, taxis

    Venues and Experience: Overall plan for the Games and experience handling other events, winter sports in particular

    Written by Ed Hula

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