Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rio Seems to Be Inching Ahead in Race for 2016

Today the IOC 2106 evaluation committee released their findings from their visits earlier this year and for the most part the results were as expected. Every bid is said to be capable of hosting, but each bid has unique strengths and weaknesses.

Judging from media reaction we've read today, Rio seems to be the new and unlikely favorite based on the report (however some sources seem to be biased). Rio is making a strong push to be the first South American city to host the Olympics, which seems to one of the main reasons they might win.

All this speculation is pretty subjective given the highly political nature of the IOC process, so take it with a grain of salt.

The Chicago Tribune sums up Rio's pros and cons:
• Transportation, where the report said efficient implementation of transport operations during the Games and delivery of new transport infrastructure was ``critical;''

• Housing, where ``the insufficient number of hotel rooms'' and difficulty to obtain guarantees for cruise ships as part of the housing plan ``places extra pressure on Rio;''

• The massive scope of the urban regeneration plan that is part of the bid. That the enormous cost overruns in London have largely been cause by tying the 2012 Olympics to urban regeneration is a cautionary tale.

• And the marketing and communications challenges linked to Brazil's being host to the 2014 soccer World Cup.
In regards to Chicago's bid:
• The transport plan includes factors that could be a ``major challenge;''

• The Chicago budget was ``ambitious but achievable'' but the city needs an ``extensive sponsorship program'' to make it work.

• The Olympic Village plan a potentially ``special experience for the athletes'' but noted no full financing guarantee for its construction was provided when the commission visited in early April.
Madrid seemed to get dinged the most by the report which essentially said that they have organizational issues. Tokyo also didn't have the most glowing report mainly due to low public support.

In our opinion it's a race between Rio and Chicago (as we've been saying for awhile now). Rio's bid would be historic for the Olympic movement and would definitely help broaden the appeal of the games to a new continent. However, we think Chicago's plan is better and in return would make for a great Olympic games (we're obviously a little biased though).

Finally, the big wild card is whether or not President Obama goes to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago. Without him, it looks like Rio is going to be the host. With him, Chicago probably has a good shot.

One month to go...should be interesting!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The markets believe it will be Chicago. Check out Intrade