Brisbane has moved a major step closer to staging the 2032 Olympics after its bid was approved by the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) executive board.
It would be the third time Australia stages the summer Games, following Melbourne 1956 and Sydney 2000, but that will not be confirmed until members are given the chance to vote at a meeting in Tokyo on July 21.
IOC president Thomas Bach has called the bid “irresistible”, with 84% of the sports to be hosted in venues which either already exist or would be temporary structures. The iconic Gabba cricket ground could be at least partially rebuilt, though. Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also said the country will cover half the costs.
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This is the first time that an Olympics is being awarded in the new bidding process, which was brought in two years ago. Instead of cities openly bidding against each other, potential hosts came forward and entered ongoing discussions with an IOC panel which constantly reviewed their proposals. In February, Brisbane was named as the “preferred” bidder, before it was yesterday named as the only proposed candidate.
The new strategy has attracted some controversy, and before the Australian city became the front runner, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia and Qatar were in the running. Indonesia had not completely given up on its campaign and until recently was still openly promoting itself.
"It was a vision for a sustainable and feasible Olympic Games," Bach said, claiming the Brisbane bid has strong political support.
"All of this made it irresistible.
Climate is always important but what is more important is the human atmosphere. We see the Aussies love their sport and welcoming athletes from around the world - this is more important than whether it is 10 degrees or 25.
But the IOC’s Australian vice-president John Coates insists the deal is not done yet: "I was very, very pleased to get this vote of confidence ... this was the next step along the way.
"You never know with the IOC members. A 50% vote in favour is required even if there is only one candidate. I've been around long enough never to take it for granted."
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