Great idea for a thread Soaring.....looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks. 2012 seemed destined for Western Europe (it ended up a smidgen further north than most prediced but still in Western Europe), 2016 seemed destined for America (most predicted the wrong bit of the continent but they still went to the Americas). 2020 is destined for nowhere....there's no narrowing down that can be done for this race!
Personally if pushed, I would say Tokyo at this stage though.
Baku is a real underdog. A shortlisting would be a surprise.
Rome could be gone within weeks or dead on its feet by the vote if the government support is not there. The last news story we heard from them wasn't encouraging so I'm not going to even contemplate putting them as favourites until the most basic thing a bid needs - domestic political support - is there.
Istanbul didn't shortlist for 2012 or 2016. They'll look at Rio and see that that isn't necessarily a problem, but it's a city with a lot to do to get up to Olympic Standard. Not sure how much support Turkey has within the IOC at this stage either, and should they go strong with a bid for Euro 2020, they may be spreading themselves too thinly and end up winning neither event.
Doha has a cumulative, snowballing of problems to contend with. Heat, rights issues, lack of sporting history, the 2022 World Cup overshadowing everything, the 2017 WACs loss, small population, geography etc. They have money but the IOC aren't FIFA. Can't seriously consider them as favourites.
Madrid will put together a strong technical bid as they always do, but you know what, I'm looking forward to seeing the applicant file because I think their stadium solution could raise a few eyebrows. If you haven't had a butcher's yet, do look in the Madrid 2020 Stadium thread. I've been trying to figure out how their stadium will work for this bid since it's been confirmed it will be a football stadium with an athletics platform solution (quite different from their 2012 or 2016 stadiums). As far as I can work out, their stadium will have a capacity of 49k in ahtletics mode! Also, Barcelona 92 could still be a problem.
Tokyo has the money, the support, the bidding experience, and it seems to be bidding at the right time geo-politically. The European field is thin, it's coming off the back of a new-frontier Games in 2016 so the IOC may have sated their appetite in this regard till Africa comes along, and I think Japan has enough support in the IOC to pull this off. What they need to do though is excite, figure out a narrative, make sure they're not overlooked as I felt happened a little with their 2016 bid (Rio won, Chicago bombed, Madrid had a plea to grant Samaranch's final wish, Tokyo was forgotten).
Edited by RobH, 31 January 2012 - 05:57 PM.