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ARCHIVE - Istanbul 2008 Olympic Bid

Istanbul, Turkey

Bid Record:  Bid for 2000 and 2004.

They don't have an advanced infrastructure and may have difficulties hosting the Games, although reports say that their infrastructure and bidding ability has been improving rapidly.

Pro:  Games have never been in Turkey  Con: Too soon after Athens 2004 in Europe. 


Conclusion from May 15, 2001 IOC Evaluation Commission Report

"This is a bid driven by the NOC and based on the country's unique Olympic law which provides finance for the development of sport and facilities, particularly in Istanbul.

 The Commission believes that there are uncertainties regarding the overall status and projections of Games finance. The time lines and costs for all necessary transport infrastructure could be difficult to achieve and these would be essential for the conduct of a successful Games. The situation is not helped by the current economic conditions.

 Despite the presence of some major new facilities, the Commission is not confident that the complex planning required for a Games has been fully addressed."

Applicant City Evaluation Report Results From August 2000

Bold = Highest City in Category
Italics = Lowest City in Category

General Infrastructure 4.15
Accommodation 6.20
Olympic Village 6.35
Sports Infrastructure 6.9
Transport Infrastructure  6.85

Istanbul Tries For a Third Time
October 16, 2000

Hopefully for Istanbul, it’s not three strikes and you’re out. This is the third time Istanbul is bidding for an Olympic Summer Games.

According to the Istanbul Web site, the city’s logo and theme “meeting of continents” deliberately emphasize the ultimate goal of the Olympic movement, which is bringing athletes together from around the globe to create an enduring legacy of peace and harmony in the world. And geographically speaking, Istanbul is living up to its theme. It is the only city linking two continents and providing a virtual re-enactment of the coming together of Europe and Asia.

IIstanbul lost out in its 2004 bid for the Summer Games, but not for lack of support. At the time 95 per cent of those surveyed supported its Olympic bid. Since then there has been strong community support for the 2008 Games in schools, clubs, institutions, and public bodies in the private and public sector.

Turkey’s Parliament has enacted the first Olympic law in the world guaranteeing the full cost of staging the Games and the government has set aside fixed sources of revenues for facilities.

According to the Turkish Olympic law, there will be tripartite cooperation between the state, municipality and the NOC, which makes the 2008 bid irrevocably immune to government changes.

Since Istanbul decided on a third bid, there has been a massive program underway. Plans have been drawn up, sites have been acquired and foundations laid. The NOC of Turkey, the 2008 bid committee, and the private sector have all invested about $120 million (U.S.) in the bid.

All venue locations were specifically chosen away from areas of historic value and attractive urban sites.

Work is already underway at the Olympic Park, which will be located on 584 hectares of derelict land and made accessible by light rail. The Olympic Park and all the sporting events will be fairly close to each other. And for the first time in decades, all the athletes will be able to stay in the same Olympic Village. Media and Referee Villages will also be under the same concept.

As for environmental issues, which is one of the criteria of an Olympic bid, the Istanbul Olympic Bidding Committee (IOBC) had the Olympic Park master plan drawn with the collaboration of a leading environmental group.

Istanbul is centrally located for easy travel and prime-time broadcasting. The average flying time to Istanbul is less than five hours and because its in the GMT + 2 time zone, those who can’t come to the Games can watch them live on television.

The Main Media Center will have an excellent communications infrastructure to fully exploit Istanbul’s ideal location for live coverage of the Games for large European, Asian, and African audiences, as well as audiences in the Americas.

And by 2008 visitors to the Games can have their choice of 87,000 beds in 43,000 hotel rooms.

Istanbul says an Istanbul 2008 Summer Games will be a compact Games, with all sporting events taking place in Istanbul, all athletes living in one Olympic Village located three km from the Olympic Park, and with the Media Village within three km of the Olympic Stadium.

And best of all, the city says there won’t be any extra tax burden or other cost to its citizens.

Istanbul says having the 2008 Games will leave a strong and enduring legacy, not only for the city, but also for the country and the entire region.

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