Doha 2020 Releases Plans for an October Olympics
On Monday, the Doha 2020 Olympic bid committee publicly released its comprehensive plan to stage the Olympic Games for the the first time in the Middle East. Last week officials delivered the plan with an application and government guarantees to International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne.
Summing up the motivation behind a bid, the application explains "the Olympic Games in Doha will not only be the ideal beacon of inspiration for our youth but will be the perfect opportunity for the rest of the world to experience a new region and share our love of sport."
The Games would be staged entirely within the month of October, from the 3nd to the 18th with the Paralympics held within November, from the 4th to the 15th.
These dates fall outside of the desired July-August window that has now become traditional for the Olympic Games but in order to deal with the sweltering summer climate Qatar Olympic officials applied for a date variance last year and the IOC agreed to take it into consideration. Previously, the IOC rejected Doha's bid for the 2016 Games based on similar proposed Games dates.
But despite switching the Games to a more bearable Qatar autumn climate - temperature data provided by the bid committee shows daytime temperatures reaching as high as 38 degrees celsius while evening lows rarely fall below 29 degrees. If Doha is accepted as a candidate, the IOC will expect to see details of how organizers plan to deal with the heat, especially with respect to venues and sport schedules.
A bid commissioned Hill + Knowlton survey showed that 82% of Qataris either favour or strongly favour an Olympic Games in 2020. In Qatar more than 75% percent of the population is under the age of 39 and the region plans to double the total population to 3 million by 2020.
The Games will be planned across five sports zones including the Games Centre around Qatar University; the Doha Olympic Park Zone where the ceremonies will be held; the Aspire Zone where the athletics will be stage; the Education City Zone and the Water Park Zone. According to documents 35% of the sports venues exist while 56% are planned and budgeted for leaving only 9% which will be comprised of temporary venues. No additional permanent venues need to be built specifically for the Olympic Games - Qatar will later host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and can leverage some of that planned construction.
The average travel time between venues is estimated at 21 minutes.
Doha has existing plans for $30 billion (all amounts USD) of road and infrastructure improvements and $21 billion for transit scheduled over the next several years that won't be included in the overall Games budget.
Planned revenue for the Games including sponsorships and ticket sales is estimated at $850 million based on conservative estimates. The bid committee has documented that $73 million will be spend on the bid campaign overall including $21.9 million in tha applicant phase and $51.1 in the candidature phase. Typically bid budget numbers are subject to change during the campaign as more funds are raised and competitive needs evolve.
During a presentation held Monday Doha 2020 CEO Noora Al Mannai said “we have also put a heavy focus on legacy.
"Our aim is to create a legacy for sport in the entire region empowering a new generation of girls and boys to become active through sport.
"We want to inspire change, create sporting and commercial opportunities for the Olympic Movement and build bridges of understanding between the region and the international community.”
Qatar's five-time Olympian Nasser Al Attiyah said “I believe that Doha 2020 will set a new benchmark for Olympic Host Cities and the experience of athletes.
"The location of the athletes’ village, the fast travel times between venues, and the quality of the facilities really stand out for me."
H.E. Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, General Secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee and Doha 2020 Vice Chairman said "we are presenting a Games plan that dovetails perfectly with the significant investment Qatar is already making in sports facilities and essential infrastructure over the next few years as part of the country’s National Vision 2030.
"Our focus on utilizing existing venues and those already planned and budged for means that we can have certainty in delivering an accessible and low-cost Games in 2020 if we are granted this honour."
Doha's plans will be analyzed by the IOC over the coming months beforea commission determines whether to accept the bid as a candidate at a meeting in Quebec City, Canada in May.
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