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  • Bidding for 2020 - Baku Puts Faith in Sports Venue Investment


    Baku proposes staging the Games in the traditional July-August window. (Getty Images)
    (ATR) The capital of Azerbaijan claims to have learnt some valuable lessons from its 2016 Olympic bid failure. A lack of sports infrastructure led to its elimination from the shortlist in 2008.

    Baku comes into this race much better prepared.

    In the last three years, construction has started on an Olympic Stadium and billions of dollars have been invested in several sports arenas with a view to using them for an Olympic bid.

    The strong legacy program touted during the last bidding process will be reworked again to strengthen its 2020 effort.

    Strengths: Attractive coastal location, booming oil economy, government's willingness to invest in sports venues, experience hosting international sports events in last few years

    Weaknesses: Delivering compact venues plan and necessary Olympic-related infrastructure, growing Baku's international profile
    Azeri sports minister Azad Rahimov. (ATR)

    Possible Storylines: New region for Summer Olympics, a catalyst for sports development throughout Caucasus

    Leadership: Azerbaijan sports minister Azad Rahimov, who led the 2016 Olympic bid; NOC president Ilham Aliyev

    Past Bids: 2016

    Population: 2.2 million

    Written and reported by Mark Bisson

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