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Everything posted by stryker

  1. I agree that the "intercontinental rejection" began with Boston. The IOC needs to change but their two major problems IMO are they seem to believe the New Norm and Agenda 2020 have fixed everything and that they have a horrible PR department. On the first point, the landscape as to how citizens of western democracies view government spending has shifted remarkably since the Great Recession. More and more citizens are concerned about how their taxpayer money is being spent. In the case of Calgary, this was a city that thought the CalgaryNEXT and a new arena for the Flames was too expensive, so how are they going to convince the public to support an Olympics? It was a catch-22. I still think back when the bid began there was hope the Flames and the city would reach an agreement on a new arena and they could slide that into the bid plan. Instead the Calgary bid committee put forth the idea of the fieldhouse (half of the CalgaryNEXT plan) and the ridiculous "community arena" - a small scale ice arena with no permanent tenant that would likely become a white elephant. Let's not forget the bid couldn't even agree on a venue for curling. Frankly, Calgary's bid was one of the most poorly managed since the Boston fiasco from the venue plan to when it came crunch time for more money they actually said they found savings in games security of all places. Correct me if I'm wrong but hasn't the cost of security steadily gone up at every Olympics since 9/11? The IOC has a PR problem. They continue to claim New Norm and Agenda 2020 are great successes but there has yet to be an Olympics where they have shown to keep costs down without the dreaded cost overruns. It's not looking good for Tokyo right now either. Part of this is the sports federations in their demands for sparkling new venues (I wonder if the IIHF got in the ears of the Calgary committee and said they would not accept ice hockey being farmed out to Edmonton) Even worse, the IOC claims Pyeongchang is the first example of success of the New Norm when Pyeongchang is saddled with ice arenas with no permanent tenants, a sliding track that's a white elephant, and even the Alpine venue is facing financial problems that could force it to close down, not exactly Sochi-style spending but not exactly a ringing endorsement of cost controls either. Let's not forget, Rio's final financial numbers have yet to be released probably because the costs and losses could equal that of Sochi and put a potential nail in the coffin to the SOGs that is nearly facing the WOGs. Even worse on the PR front is Christophe Dubi. This guy opens his mouth and spews toxicity like when he told the citizens of Calgary, "the Games will come at no cost to you." Wrong choice of words. Then there's the delusion on the part of Thomas Bach. Remember the whole "their are fewer WOGs hosts because of climate change?" story. The IOC needs major change but until they come to their senses that the taxpaying public isn't buying what their selling, the number of bidders will continue to get fewer and fewer.
  2. If I remember correctly, Australia does not have a mountain with required 800m vertical drop. As for New Zealand, much like Argentina and Chile, I don't think there's enough of a winter sports market locally to sustain any venues long-term, not to mention if New Zealand thinks the CWGs are too expensive, then the WOGs are a nonstarter.
  3. The idea of Santiago or Buenos Aires is ridiculous. The IOC would go back to Sochi (which I think could happen if SLC and the USOC say no) before considering that. Besides the much-discussed southern hemisphere timing, there is virtually no winter sports infrastructure outside of the mountains for the alpine events. Constructing the needed facilities would be expensive and lead to a host of white elephants.
  4. Toronto had their best shot in 2008 unfortunately there was no chance in Beijing being denied that year. Unfortunately now, I thought Toronto would take a shot at 2024 fresh off the success of the Pan Ams, but I think in the end, they simply determined a SOG is just too big and too expensive right now. If Toronto could put forth their plan largely along the lines of the Pan Ams, it could work, but that still leaves them without a plan for a stadium. Toronto's not getting an Olympic-sized stadium unless the NFL moves there.
  5. I can't wait to see how the IOC reacts to this. They've practically hitched and gassed up the wagons for Calgary. Now it's practically done. I'm expecting a firey tongue lashing similar to what Oslo got after they dropped out of the 2018 race, only I think this time, it could be much worse.
  6. A couple of thoughts here. If the USOC does decide to bail out the IOC in 2026 it will be with Salt Lake City. Only thing the bid would need would be a secondary ice hockey arena (they could go to Denver or Boise for that) and an Olympic Village (new housing at Utah or BYU?). Even so, it's not going to be fixed with a simple phone call. Lots of strings are going to have to be pulled for it to work for reasons already mentioned like competing with Los Angeles for sponsorship money. While we're speculating here, let me throw another wrench into the mix. What if no amount of convincing can get the USOC to put forth Salt Lake in 2026? Where does the IOC go to then? It won't be Almaty. Dare I say it, but . . . could Vladimir Putin be eyeing this thing from afar and thinking Sochi 2026? I wouldn't put it past him to do it. I could see talks between the IOC and USOC collapsing and Putin coming out of the woodwork saying Sochi has everything ready. Sure it was an expensive venture the first time around, but everything's in place for a low cost Olympics. The IOC might not have any choice. In terms of the future of the WOGs, unless there are major changes then there will not be a WOGs in western Europe for the foreseeable future. And it's more than just the bidding process. The IOC has to be prepared for nation-wide hosting such as in Switzerland or Austria. To take it even further, the IOC needs to encourage bids from nations that don't necessarily have all the winter sports venues, and I'm talking beyond using another country's sliding track or ski jump. I'm referring to something along the lines of London hosting the ice events with snowboarding and freestyle skiing in Scotland and alpine, sliding, and nordic combined in Lillehammer. Or Helsinki with Are and Latvia (Helsinki had something similar in the 2006 race when they proposed the alpine events being held at Lillehammer). I'd even say Amsterdam with skiing in Switzerland or Germany. If the WOGs are spread enough using existing venues then perhaps the need for a costly Olympic Village is eliminated. And the IOC has to be willing to accept smaller capacity venues (eliminate the required two 10,000 plus seat arenas).
  7. I spent a few days in Sarajevo this past summer and I agree it's a fascinating city. The residents are some of the most welcoming I have come across. Unfortunately, while I think a return to Sarajevo would be amazing (it would show Bosnia has come full circle from where it once was) it is sadly unlikely. Their only shot would be to partner with someone else in the former Yugoslavia, maybe Croatia. Speaking of infrastructure, there were plans a couple years back to rebuild the ski jumps but it fell through. Most recently there's been discussion of demolishing the Juan Antonio Samaranch Hall (formerly Olympic Zetra) to build a new stadium for FK Sarajevo.
  8. IMO, all these support numbers are inflated especially the Italian bid (I suspect this was done to try to nudge the government into providing the needed financial support). It reminds me of when the Democrats and Republicans conduct internal polling. It always results in over-inflated numbers. And yes I think once the numbers start coming out on how much more expensive the Milan-Cortina bid will be compared to what the costs could have been with Turin in the race, that you will see public support drop. I really don't see how Milan-Cortina can get this bid funded without money from Rome.
  9. Some further tweaks to the venue plan this week. The second Paris Arena, called Bercy II which was to host basketball, judo, and wrestling has been scrapped. Judo and wrestling will now be held on the Champs-Elysses in the temporary exhibition hall being used by the Grand Palais while it undergoes renovation. All basketball games, men's and women's, will be held at the AccorHotels Arena. Badminton will be moved to Porte de la Chappelle near Stade De France though the specific sports arena for it was not named. The temporary aquatics center will now host all aquatics events so I assume this mean the downsized permanent facility that was supposed to hold water polo has now been scrapped. Volleyball will still be at a temporary arena in Le Bourget though I predict eventually they'll scrap this due to cost concerns and move it to the Paris Expo Hall.
  10. This is starting to resemble the rogue Las Vegas bid from a few years back although that lacked even the support of the USOC. Still can't see this working out without government support and they can wax on all they want about 40 percent of the GDP going through Lombardy and Veneto. The federal government still has to pay for security among other things.
  11. Just as I predicted. The government isn't giving the financial backing needed and I cannot see this going forward with provincial funding only. With the October deadline for candidate cities coming up, now with what's essentially only three cities left, will the IOC accept all for the official candidature stage? At this point I think the answer will be yes which means it's going to be up to Calgary's referendum to keep the Olympics from Erzurum. Forget about the Stockholm bid as it's on borrowed time without government support as well. Or does the IOC take the chance of dropping Erzurum risking Calgary losing the referendum and then try to negotiate (Salt Lake?) for a 2026 host. The IOC has a bigger problem. Europe has soundly rejected hosting the WOGs and unless the IOC decides to make major changes beyond the New Norm we will not see a WOGs at least in a democratic European nation again for the forseeable
  12. Milan's biggest sports franchise after the two football teams is their basketball team which plays at the Mediolanum Forum. Milan has no professional ice hockey team and has no need for a speed skating oval or additional arena. The Forum has experience hosting ice hockey competitions. It co-hosted the IIHF Continental Cup with Lugano, Switzerland. https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1070131/italy-pursuing-new-two-way-bid-for-2026-winter-olympics-but-claim-door-still-open-for-turin-after-withdrawal This is an interesting development. The door is being left open for Turin to return which leads me to think the bid is on borrowed time in terms of government support which is uncertain with just Milan and Cortina. IMO if Turin doesn't rejoin the bid, the government will decline to fund it and it will fold prior to the candidate selection by the IOC in October.
  13. Definitely think you'd see a more united front with Milan and Cortina but the downside is the need to build one or possibly two new ice arenas plus a speed skating oval. That was the benefit of having Torino in the bid. No major venues needed to be built. Milan has the Mediolanum Forum. That's it. They would need another 10,000+ arena and a speed skating oval. Even then they'd still need a secondary hockey arena though I suppose they could use the one in Bolzano. Costs could add up quickly which probably wouldn't go over well with the public.
  14. I saw this as well but I believe this option is contingent on government support which as of now is not guaranteed
  15. I highly doubt the IOC approaches Stockholm. The only reason that bid is hanging around is because the bid organizers are hoping the current mayor who opposes the bid gets ousted in the upcoming elections. That's not likely to happen. In terms of regional bids I still think that's the future if the IOC ever wants the WOGs to return to Europe. It does place a risk in terms of in fighting as seen with Italy. There's also the prospect of referendums over a larger populace but it offers the best chance in terms of a bid using as much existing infrastructure as possible.
  16. I can't see government support being given to a Milan-Cortina bid. The IOC now likely hitches its wagon on the Calgary referendum unless of course they take a risk and leave Erzurum on the official candidate list in October. If that ends up being the case then Erdogan can start celebrating.
  17. They dropped the wrong city. Should've dropped Milan. Milan has one sports arena the FilaForum in nearby Assago. They will need to build a speed skating oval and two more ice arenas which will get quite pricey. Torino had the ice arenas and they could use the Cortina track
  18. I agree. It seems like Calgary which was preaching for months they could host an Olympics with one 10,000+ arena in the Saddledome suddenly got cold feet and backtracked. This is where pressure from the IOC and the respective sports federations come in. There's a tremendous amount of pressure on host cities to build regardless of what the IOC says about Agenda 2020 only now the IOC seems to tow a line of "use existing facilities when necessary but if a new one can be built at a lower cost we'd like that too." i thought Calgary would put forth a venue plan that included Rogers Centre in Edomonton and a smaller secondary ice hockey arena somewhere in Alberta. I can't remember where i saw the article (it might have been on Gamesbids) either early this year or late last year that an assessment was done saying Calgary would need two 10,000+ plus arenas to host. IMO, the bid leaders banked on the city and the Flames coming to a new agreement on a new arena. They didn't and so there was a scramble in the last couple of months (wasn't the bid plan supposed to be released a couple months ago?) The compromise was building the fieldhouse and the mid-sized arena. Given the rate prospective candidates are dropping like flies, I would've thought Calgary could've put forth a venue plan that included neither a fieldhouse or mid-sized arena and said take it or leave it.
  19. Not sure how this will work with the political and economic embargo of Qatar by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. Currently there's no air transport links between Qatar and the latter and while there's still 4 years till the WC, this situation shows no signs of getting fixed, if anything, both sides are digging in even more. If this really is the plan for accomodation, fans will have to fly to either Kuwait or Oman from Bahrain, UAE, or Saudi Arabia before connecting onward to Qatar.
  20. I brought up the issue of the mid-size arena in a different thread with the question of what regular use it would have after the Olympics. So far the press release from Calgary 2026 is calling it a "need for a community center." That's translation they don't have a set legacy for it after the Olympics (Rio did this with the OTC arenas which they sid would be the core of a national sports complex). I suppose the mid-size arena could be a placesetter for eventually getting a new NHL arena. Where I disagree is the assessment that it's unlikely for the Flames to leave. I think the possibility is greater than one realizes given how far apart the two sides are in negoitations. At one point they weren't even talking to each other, and if someone such as Seattle or Houston come calling with a sparkling new arena (Seattle) or a relatively new one (Toyota Arena) that will be a hard offer to pass up. I also suspect that the IIHF might have had the ears of some of the Calgary 2026 members telling them outsourcing games to Edmonton and perhaps another city was unacceptable.
  21. The Sweden bid is on borrowed time. My guess is they are waiting until after the national elections to see if Stockholm gets a new mayor, one who's more partial to a bid. The Italian bid has local opposition in all three cities and I'd wager it won't be long before a No Olympics movement emerges there. At this point, I think the IOC is hitching their wagons to Calgary, banking the PR blitz will be enough to pull a yes vote over the finish line in November. I've brought this up before, but October is a key date in this race when the IOC officially invites bidders to become official candidates. This would be the off-ramp for getting rid of Erzurum. If they do, and the IOC is left with no bidders standing, then I suppose they get serious about reaching out to Salt Lake and possibly Sapporo. If they leave Erzurum on the list after October, then a double award is likely out and the IOC would have no choice but to give the 2026 WOGs to Turkey if the other candidates falter.
  22. A couple of thoughts. No surprise about Whistler and Canmore being included and of course no new NHL arena. The fieldhouse which was originally part of the failed CalgaryNEXT project for short track and figure skating then I assume the fieldhousewould be turned over to the University of Calgary. The real surprise is the md-size arena. Who would use that? The Calgary Hitmen maybe? As for the Calgary Flames, I could see them raising the issue that if Calgary can find the money for a mid-sized arena and a fieldhouse, then they will use that as leverage in negotiations for a new arena. Of course I think's it reasonably possible that the Flames relocate by 2026 as well. And putting money into the Saddledome isn't going to make it an NHL caliber arena. Worse case scenario the Flames leave, Calgary does not build a new arena, and the Saddledome is demolished post-Olympics.
  23. Yes Calgary 2026 has taken a huge gamble. They've released their own figures for the cost of the 2026 Olympics should Calgary host. They are projecting a cost of $5.8 million. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/olympics-bid-council-plebiscite-2026-1.4813831 Breaking down the numbers this is what they've come up with. $2.5 billion for running the Olympic and Paralympic Games. $1.1 billion for new facilities and upgrading existing facilities. $1 billion for security. $1 billion for housing. $200 million for an endowment to maintain Olympic facilities into the future. If they are right on this, then I say the bid might have a shot at securing the 50+ percent needed in the referendum. If they are off, the bid is cooked. Looking at the figures, I am judging they are not counting on a new arena for the Flames or even a new fieldhouse. Where I find sketicism is in the $1 billion for security. That seems a bit low.
  24. Well it didn't take long for the IOC and the POCOG to go into full damage control mode. First the IOC claims that there will still be a surplus despite the news of mounting debts in Gangwon province. That's still a head scratcher to me unless the IOC is working with Pyeongchang to cook the books. And there's no firm plans as far as legacy for the troubled venues. I predict the main ice hockey arena, speed skating oval, and the sliding track will eventually be demolished while trees are replanted at the alpine venue. https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1069533/ioc-confirm-pyeongchang-2018-surplus-still-predicted-despite-reports-gangwon-province-left-with-debts
  25. And Christophe Dubi claims Pyeongchang turned a surplus? If those numbers are released then I'd say the books have been cooked. https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1069420/gangwon-province-left-with-massive-debts-after-pyeongchang-2018-report-claims I wouldn't call it a Sochi type disaster but the legacy at least venue wise is not going to help the 2026 race. And it's not just the Alpine venue (which was in financial trouble before the race) that's facing demolition. Apparently the sliding track, speed skating oval, and one of the hockey arenas are all facing demolition. A while back there was actually a ridiculous proposal to turn the speed skating oval into an industrial size refrigerator for local fishermen.
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