Brisbane is in a gold medal-winning position to host the 2032 Olympics after it was officially endorsed as the “preferred partner” to start talks about staging the games.
The International Olympic Committee on Thursday morning (Australian time) announced Brisbane as the preferred bidder which means the IOC will negotiate exclusively with the Australian bid.
The move is the first major step towards the Queensland capital being named the Olympic host.
IOC President Thomas Bach said the IOC’s Future Host Summer Commission’s selection had the full backing of the IOC’s executive board.
“This commission recommended to the IOC executive board to enter into a targeted dialogue with Brisbane 2032. The Executive Board has unanimously approved this recommendation,” Mr Bach told a virtual news conference.
He stressed the decision to pick Brisbane was “not a decision against anybody”.
“This is just a decision in favour of one interested party at this moment in time,” Mr Bach said.
The IOC will now start more detailed discussions with the Brisbane 2032 Committee and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
The Future Host Commission will maintain continuous dialogue with the other interested parties to further develop their projects. https://t.co/5Wiqc5UEMe
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) February 24, 2021
Several cities and countries had publicly expressed an interest in the 2032 Games including Brisbane, Indonesia, Budapest, China, Doha and Germany’s Ruhr valley among others.
Preferred status means the IOC will negotiate exclusively with the Australian bid.
If negotiations conclude successfully and are then approved by an IOC Session, Brisbane, would be the third Australian city to host the Games after Melbourne had the honour in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.
That would effectively end the hopes of other bidders, with Rhine-Ruhr, Doha, Budapest, Jakarta, New Delhi, Istanbul, St Petersburg and the Chinese cities of Chengdu and Chongqing having also looked into possible bids.
— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) February 24, 2021
Mr Bach said Brisbane “proposes sustainable Games in line with the region’s long-term strategy and using primarily existing and temporary venues.
“The commitment of Australia and Oceania to Olympic sports has grown remarkably since the fantastic Olympic Games Sydney 2000. This is why we see such strong public support.
“We decided to seize an opportunity to take to the next stage our discussions about returning 32 years later.
“In this way, we are also acknowledging the strength of the Australian team and other athletes from across the continent of Oceania at the Olympic Games over the past decades.”
The IOC developed the preferred bidder system in 2019 to prevent potential hosts spending large amounts of money over several years only to fall short.
“We are delighted the IOC Executive Board agreed with the Commission’s recommendation to invite Brisbane 2032 to targeted dialogue,” said Kristin Kloster Aasen, chair of the Future Host Commission.
“The IOC EB and the Commission noted the excellent progress that it has made, the strength of its proposition and the strategic opportunities it affords to the Olympic Movement.”
There are no official candidate cities campaigning ahead of the vote as has been the case in the past.