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  • Two-Point Lead in 1st ATR 2020 Olympic Bid Power Index


    03/07/12

    (ATR) Tokyo has a two-point lead in the first edition of the Around the Rings Olympic Bid Power Index for the 2020 Olympics.

    The Japanese capital scored 67 points in the Power Index, two points better than Madrid and Istanbul, with Doha, Qatar close behind at 63. Baku, Azerbaijan is the underdog with 61 out of 100 possible points in the Power Index.

    It's the early stage of the race, so our scores for the Power Index are in the middling range for the cities until we learn more about each bid. And the next time we analyze the cities – in late May – the field of contenders may change. On May 23 the IOC Executive Board will decide whether to cut any of the bids from the final phase of the race. The vote for 2020 takes place Sept. 7, 2013, at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires.

    Now in its seventh year, the Power Index is compiled by the experts at Around the Rings, all of whom have studied and followed the bids from their inception, including multiple visits to each city and interviews with bid organizers.

    The 11 categories range from ambience to venue plans (see explanation of categories at the 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, but rather to show the relative strengths and weaknesses of the cities.

    ATR Olympic Bid Power Index - March 2012
    Categories:
    Baku
    Doha
    Istanbul
    Madrid
    Tokyo
    Ambience (out of 5)
    3
    3
    4
    4
    4
    Accommodation
    5
    6
    7
    7
    8
    Bid Operation
    6
    6
    6
    6
    6
    Finance
    5
    7
    6
    5
    7
    Last Games (out of 5)
    5
    5
    5
    5
    3
    Legacy
    6
    5
    6
    5
    6
    Marketing
    6
    6
    6
    6
    7
    Public Support
    9
    8
    8
    7
    6
    Security
    6
    6
    6
    6
    6
    Transportation
    5
    5
    5
    7
    7
    Venue Plans
    5
    6
    6
    7
    7
    POWER INDEX
    TOTALS
    61
    63
    65
    65
    67

    Baku - Significant Hurdles to Overcome

    Baku says the Olympics would put the city on the world map, a recognition of the progress made following the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, while there is much potential, a 2020 Olympic bid -- Baku’s second consecutive bid --will be a challenge.
    Baku also bid for the 2016 Olympics. (ATR)

    Strengths - Oil and natural gas discoveries have made Azerbaijan wealthy in the past 10 years, fueling the country’s modernization. Support for the bid comes from the highest level – President Ilham Aliyev, who also leads the Azeri NOC. Compact venue plan. High potential for legacy. Restoration of the port would open the Caspian Sea to the city, similar to Barcelona’s 1992 makeover.

    Weaknesses - Many new hotels and redevelopments are planned as the city marches forward to modernize. There is a lack of specifics with regards to financing the Games or the cost of infrastructure. Traffic and transport will require attention. Extensive venue construction needed for Games, including building an Olympic Village atop heavily polluted land. Baku has experience hosting international sporting events, but none yet of a large scale similar to the Olympics. Small population of nine million may limit marketing opportunities. No IOC members or federation leaders from Azerbaijan.

    Doha - Building on Mega-Event Experience

    Qatar's bid is dancing to a different tune this time around, following IOC approval of a proposal to stage the Games outside the traditional summer window. One of only two bids with female leadership.
    Doha proposes to hold the Olympics from Oct. 2 to 18. (ATR)

    Strengths - New-look team with financial resources to deliver a first Olympics for the Middle East. Qatar NOC gaining growing in respect as serious world player after securing hosting rights for variety of major championships. Bid is shaping up attractive plans to grow sport and commercial revenues in uncharted territory for the IOC. Piggybacking on the success of Qatar 2022 World Cup bid – FIFA's willingness to take its quadrennial showpiece to a new territory and support controversial air-conditioning plans for stadia was in Doha's favor. Strong public support; the only 2020 bidder to declare opposition to campaign in its latest opinion poll.

    Weaknesses - Significant work to do on transportation infrastructure before claims of compact Games plan can be proven. Possible labor implications with migrant workforce set to deliver venues and accommodations. Elusive legacy goals include how to improve opportunities for women in sport across the region and growing sports participation for Qatar's younger generation – even London 2012's goals to get more youth involved in sport have been revised downwards. FIFA World Cup a blessing and a curse: Too much for a small country to do to deliver both? Do they really deserve to have the Olympics and World Cup?

    Istanbul, Bid Veteran Says It Is Ready

    In its fifth bid for the Summer Olympics, Istanbul says much has changed in the 10 years since it last campaigned for the Games.
    Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia. (ATR)

    Strengths - Strong economy for Turkey. High population of young people creates legacy potential. Strong public and government support. Fascinating, exotic locale, Europe meets Asia. Existing Olympic Stadium, as well as other venues. Experience hosting international sports events. NOC President, archery federation president and IOC member Ugur Erdener is well-regarded. New team leads bid. Perseverance in bidding for the Games.

    Weaknesses - Costly infrastructure plans needed for transport improvements. Dispersed venues require longer travel times and reliance on smooth transport. Accommodations plentiful but dispersed. Olympic and Media Villages, IBC/MPC, distant from city center. Kurdish separatists in eastern Turkey pose a security issue. Earthquakes are the main natural disaster issue.

    Madrid - In Need of a Good Storyline

    For their third bid in a row, the Spanish team is pitching an "evolution" of its past bids but will have to construct a strong narrative to see off its rivals.
    The Royal Palace of Madrid. (ATR)

    Strengths - Like PyeongChang 2018, Madrid is delivering on past bids through delivery of sports infrastructure despite two defeats; the Olympic Stadium could be finished this summer. Jacques Rogge noted the Korean bid's determination to succeed after two failures, and this too could be in Madrid's favor if it plays its cards right. Currently boasts strong government support and public backing for the bid, despite country's debt crisis. Madrid's accommodation and transportation will not be issues as with other bids.

    Weaknesses - Madrid's 2020 leadership, including a new mayor, must still find their feet, with the country's debt crisis a backdrop to all bid activity and its legacy story in the months to come. With a large chunk of the venues plan built or planned, Madrid's Achilles' heel is the fragility of financial support in the current financial climate and possibility of a massive drop-off in nationwide support if the economy crashes further.

    Tokyo Tops in Early Stage of Race

    A new stadium to replace the 1964 Olympic Stadium is a highlight of this latest bid from Tokyo, a bid that includes elements of the 2016 bid as well.

    Tokyo is a frequent host of major sports events. (ATR)
    Strengths  - Compact venue plan. New stadium replaces 1964 Olympic Stadium for 100-year legacy, plus use of existing venues from ’64 Games. High-quality transportation network. Hotels exceed IOC standards. Well-developed sports marketing industry. Excellent reputation of Japan as sports host. Vibrant city with many attractions, amenities. Potential to help reconstruction and recovery from 2011 earthquake in northeast Japan.

    Weaknesses - While geographic rotation might favor Asia for 2020, Tokyo is the only city in the race that has hosted the Games before. Including Olympic Village, 11 new venues are planned, including a rowing venue estimated to cost $300 million in 2016 bid. High cost of living, doing business in Tokyo. Middling public support. Frequent changes in national government. Currently, no IOC members from Japan. Earthquake recovery, nuclear disaster could divert attention from bid.

    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 the Olympics and infrastructure, unusual finance risks. Higher scores indicate lower costs, strong financials.

    Last Games in the Country: Years since last summer or winter Olympics. The higher the score, the longer since the last Games.

    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, experience handling other large scale events.

    Written by Ed Hula, Mark Bisson, Ed Hula III .

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