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Chicago Drops From Top Spot In 2016 Olympic Bid BidIndex Despite “Obama Effect”

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Tokyo has taken the lead in the latest installment of GamesBids.com’s BidIndex, the original and most trusted formula for rating Olympic bids throughout their campaigns.  In this first update since the evaluation report was released and the short list revealed last June, many new dimensions have been added to measure the potential success of each bid; the latest being added today after the U.S. election.


New frontrunner Tokyo scored 61.22, up 0.56 and with a healthy lead over second-place Rio de Janeiro, down 0.17 to 59.73.  Even with the loss, Rio moved up one spot ahead of Chicago.  Chicago dropped from first to third and fell 1.96 points to 58.78 narrowly ahead of fourth place Madrid at 58.63, down 0.87.  Madrid was also fourth in the June update.


Despite this week’s historic U.S. election victory by Barack Obama who has close ties to the city – Chicago’s bid fell to third behind Rio de Janeiro.  While President-elect Obama will certainly be a valuable asset to the Chicago bid team, it’s too early to determine whether his politics or involvement in the bid will have a significant impact on the final vote next October.  Chicago 2016 Spokesperson Patrick Sandusky told GamesBids.com today that while the bid team hopes the newly-elected president will attend the bid election in Copenhagen next year, they can’t predict what his schedule will be at that time.


“[President-elect Barack Obama] is an ardent supporter of our bid, he has attended rallies and been involved in films – he has been a backer from the get-go”, said Sandusky.


“There are no immediate plans for Obama to be involved in any presentations” he added.


Chicago’s scores in the IOC evaluation report were weaker than anticipated resulting in the decline. 


Bouyed by a strong evaluation report released by the IOC in June, Tokyo has shown that it has strong technical fundamentals – an important factor at this early stage of the race.  The compact centralized plan, top-rated accommodations and an effective financial plan put the Japanese Capital on top.  IOC members will be anxious to see what this bid offers next year when the full plan is submitted.


Widely considered a sentimental favourite, Rio de Janiero is trying to become the first city to host the Olympics in South America.  While IOC President Jacques Rogge’s desire to bring the Games to new continents is a driving factor behind the bid today – Rio will have to back it up next year with strong fundamentals and consistent strategic lobbying.


Madrid’s fourth place standing in BidIndex is somewhat deceiving.  The Spanish bid is the most experienced in the field and it came second on the IOC evaluation report – but Madrid still stands very narrowly behind Rio, and still in striking distance from the top spot.  With much potential, this bid has the best chance to gain momentum throughout the campaign next year because of its familiarity with the IOC and the support of former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, both important factors when the hard lobbying begins.


The bids will submit complete bid books with much additional information to the IOC in February 2009.  This data will help further shape BidIndex and could cause further fluctuations.  Later in April and May, the IOC will conduct evaluation visits of each city that will provide more data to the BidIndex model.


BidIndex is a mathematical model developed by GamesBids.com that when applied to an Olympic Bid, produces a number that can be used to rate a bid relative to past successful bids - and possibly gauge its potential success. London’s winning 2012 bid had a final BidIndex score of 65.07 while Sochi's winning 2014 Winter Games bids scored 63.17.


BidIndex is not intended to rate the bids based solely on technical quality, but on how the bids will perform based on IOC voting patterns. History has proven that the best technical bids often do not win but other factors such as geo-politics usually have a significant impact.


BidIndex Results

Tokyo:  61.22 (up 0.56)
Rio:  59.73 (down 0.17)
Chicago:  58.78 (down 1.96)
Madrid:  58.63  (down 0.87)

Full BidIndex details can be found here.

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