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Madrid 2020, Spanish Government To Create Fiscal Policy to Boost Olympic bid

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Reporting from the SportAccord Convention in Quebec, Canada

Quebec - On Wednesday in Quebec the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will determine whether five applicants for the 2020 Olympic Games will be able to continue with their campaigns, or be eliminated because they don’t measure up.

Madrid is campaigning for its third straight time – a fifth consecutive bid for Spain – and seems certain to make the list.

“I am calm.  It is a very important day today and you have to be a little bit nervous because of the importance, but we are quite confident,” Alejandro Blanco, the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee and Madrid 2020, explained to GamesBids.com.

But Blanco’s bid has been under scrutiny recently, and here in Quebec, because of the financial crisis and austerity measures in Spain – a similar situation that forced Rome to abandon its run at 2020 earlier this year.  The bid committee is operating with a budget that is markedly less than the funds made available in the 2016 campaign when Madrid came second to Rio de Janeiro, and it plans to spend less than the other four rivals in the race.

Blanco says his bid leverages work done in past bids and includes some key changes that create a new concept; this makes it a smart bid that will cost less.  He says that this will send a clear message to the IOC members that will be voting for the winner in September 2013.

“One of the ways to get out of the [financial] crisis is through sport,” he said.

“This is a very important message for the Olympic movement.”

This strategy is more than just rhetoric.  The National Olympic Committee and the Spanish government have been working together to enact fiscal policy around the opportunity.  Blanco exclusively told GamesBids.com that a new federal law is set to come into effect that will provide businesses that sponsor the Olympic bid favourable tax deductions – an incentive that will both help raise more funds for the bid and provide a spending stimulus for the economy.

The bid for the Olympic Games will be declared an “exceptional interest”, helping this law come into effect.  An official announcement on the tax plan is set for next week.

“It is very important to tell the people that this is not a project for the city, it is a national project – it is a project of the government.  It is not only something Madrid wants to do, it’s what Spain wants to do.

“We’re absolutely sure that we will have enough resources to do the campaign that we want to do and that we will get to Buenos Aires with a very strong bid.”

The bid team intends to differentiate itself from past bids by introducing a new concept and a wealth of new experience.  It will take cues from the needs of the nation’s under 25 youth and will work to integrate the value of sport into the school curriculum. 

Madrid will show, by example, that it can organize major sport events.  For 2013-2014 Madrid will host championships for handball, basketball, shooting, cycling, sailing and swimming.

Blanco is ready to accept the IOC’s short list decision.

“If they qualify, they are strong bids.  They will be hard rivals.”

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2020 Olympic Bid News Summary
Bid Status: Evaluation commission visits bid cities in March, 2013
Bid Date: September 7, 2013
Bid Location: IOC Session Buenos Aires, Argentina
Description: Bid to host 2020 Olympic Games
Bid Book: Link To Bid Book
Web Site: http://www.gamesbids.com