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Because it's "Spanish" time!! Ole!! Am warming up to Madrid bid now. I hope it's between Madrid and Istanbul.

Baron, I have to ask. Why the complete 180 on Madrid all of the sudden? For years, you were such a vehement naysayer about their 'stubborn' attempts at the Games. What has changed for you as of late? Please enlighten.

I have to add though, that if a "fiscally responsible" Games plan like this one was coming from Durban, it would win hands down. But just don't see this same type of strategy working for the Spaniards, or anybody else for that matter. Especially when struggling to pay the bills, TBW,

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Baron, I have to ask. Why the complete 180 on Madrid all of the sudden? For years, you were such a vehement naysayer about their 'stubborn' attempts at the Games. What has changed for you as of late? Please enlighten.

I have to add though, that if a "fiscally responsible" Games plan like this one was coming from Durban, it would win hands down. But just don't see this same type of strategy working for the Spaniards, or anybody else for that matter. Especially when struggling to pay the bills, TBW,

Madrid - calls bank for monlthly mortgage payment extension; submits application for a loan to build a swimming pool on the same phone call.

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Baron, I have to ask. Why the complete 180 on Madrid all of the sudden? For years, you were such a vehement naysayer about their 'stubborn' attempts at the Games. What has changed for you as of late? Please enlighten.

I have to add though, that if a "fiscally responsible" Games plan like this one was coming from Durban, it would win hands down. But just don't see this same type of strategy working for the Spaniards, or anybody else for that matter. Especially when struggling to pay the bills, TBW,

1. I really don't like Japan to win it.

2. OK, I'm a little light-headed...but my heart is going for either Istanbul or Madrid.

3. Anything to thwart the front-runner!! Ya know, there is that frontrunner's curse. Just hoping it'll be fulfilled again!! ;)

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1. I really don't like Japan to win it.

2. OK, I'm a little light-headed...but my heart is going for either Istanbul or Madrid.

3. Anything to thwart the front-runner!! Ya know, there is that frontrunner's curse. Just hoping it'll be fulfilled again!! ;)

I suspect you forgot to mention - Madrid 2020 would probably be the best for the US's chances in 2024.

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I suspect you forgot to mention - Madrid 2020 would probably be the best for the US's chances in 2024.

But Baron doesn't want 2024. He wants Reno 2026.

I suspect though, that's why certain Canadians say that Madrid could win, so it could better their odds for 2024.

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I just watched the Madrid masterplan video, a nice video indeed, I just have one question, if Madid choosen to be the host for 2020, what will they do after the games for the olympic village ? I think Spain has a mortgage crisis too, right ?

Hello. Long time since the last time I posted here (a few years now).

Answering your question: Yes, we have a financial crisis and the house bubble burst at the same time, but it is not like we are at war or starving (like it is implied by some comments). Madrid is a city with almost 6 million people, there is always need for housing (social housing, luxury housing or whatever type). The organization plans to transform the olympic village into social housing.

I also wanted to comment (regarding another posts) that although the country is in a financial crisis (like many others), we are perfectly capable of financing the olympics. Another thing is if I agree to spend the money on that but financially is perfectly possible. Another post commented that we would have to rely on international visitors to sell the tickets.... Man! Does people really think we are that broke? We would have 25% of unemployment but the 75% of the population have a job and spend their money. You just have to see that soccer stadiums are full every weekend, with basketball the same and with so many other sports we we have world class championships.

To be honest, I think that although we have a good bid, the games might go to Istambul as they went to Brazil or China. To have a good bid doesnt guarantee anything and I guess that if Turkey doesnt get the games is for some reason such as the war at Syria getting worse and affecting Turkey or something like that.

I think each country of the three bidding has their own problems and we all know that the reason a country gets the games sometimes are not based on the best technical bid.

Having said that, I just wanted to streess the fact that Spain is one of the largest economies in the world (yes, in the middle of a crisis), but you just have to come to Madrid to see that the development of the country and the city itself, its infrastructure, etc. means that the investment we would have to do is less than other cities such as Istambul or Rio.

Anyway, lets see what happens!

Hope I can contribute with more posts in the future...

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81% of Spaniards support Madrid 2020 bid


The minister of Education, Culture and Sport, José Ignacio Wert, and the president of the 'Community of Madrid', Ignacio González, have underlined the great public support for Madrid's candidacy for 2020, more specifically 81% of Spaniards, and the full coordination existing between the three administrations. Both public figures participated in a speech about the public and political support for the candidature during the second day of the examination that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is subjecting Madrid to as part of its candidature for 2020.

In a later press conference, they revealed that the study into public support for Madrid 2020 carried out by the IOC reveals that 81% of Spaniards support the city's candidature for the Olympics. On this point, the minister related the decrease in support by several percentage points as compared to the 2012 and 2016 candidatures because of the "state of public opinion regarding the economic situation".

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Minimum investment, minimum risk

19 03 2013 [12:17] ~ Madrid 2020


The Madrid 2020 bid carries absolutely no financial risks. This was emphasised today by IOC executive board member Juan Antonio Samaranch, Manuel Parga, who is Finance Director of the bid, and Pierre Patrick Buffet, a finance expert with PWC, the company hired to audit the project and study the economic impact of the Games.

With much of the infrastructure already in place the total investment needed to offer “exceptional Games” is limited to $2bn. Moreover, the funding has been “guaranteed by the three levels of government,” said Mr Samaranch.

This sum, which is far below that of London or Rio, means that in these times ofuncertainty “this is a very safe option for the Olympic movement. Minimum investment, minimum risk”.

Another factor contributing to lower costs is that there is no outlay associated with renting competition venues. Many locations are public property and will be made available to the Olympic movement for free.

In addition to this many of the venues will not need to be converted for Olympic use “so that will also mean less work and less expense,” said Mr Buffett.

The authorities will also have operational costs of $200 million, related to security, tax and transport and so forth. According to Mr Parga, this relatively low sum is possible because of the “high level of services already in existence in Madrid and in Spain”.

The budget was drawn up in close operation by national federations, the Spanish Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the Spanish authorities. Suggestions from the IOC were also included.

Breakdown of costs

Mr Parga gave a break down of the main costs envisaged in the Madrid 2020 budget. For example, $370 million will go towards “our workforce”. This will include more than paid 400 paid interns so that “Spanish young people can receiving training and be involved in the Games.”

Another $460 million will be spent on information systems and meeting the needs of the press.

Some $140 million will go to upgrading transport systems for a ‘compact’ Games, with minimum travel times between venues and the Olympic Village.

With respect to the catering, the bid sets aside $80 million to show off one of Spain’s strong points. “The Olympic family can expect to eat well, with diverse cuisine from around the world, but with a Mediterranean touch,” said Mr Parga.

Almost $150 million has been set aside for the ceremonies and other cultural activities. There is a budget of $160 million for promoting the Games.

The financing of the project will be as follows: Some 31% to come from the IOC and the Top Sponsors Programme; 29% from ticket sales; 22% from local sponsors and suppliers; another 3% from the licensing programme and 4% from the Lottery and donations.

Economic Impact

This tight budget, nevertheless represents an unparalleled opportunity for the Spanish and Madrileño economy.

Mr Samaranch gave this evidence of the economic benefits: A $5bn increase in GDB, 83,000 jobs created 800,000 more visitors for Spain, spending an estimated $800 million

The increase in economic activity and employment would translate into $1.5bn more for the Treasury. “Hosting the Games will have a positive impact on local citizens, with $800 million flowing into the economy” said Mr Samaranch.

The benefits do not end there. In terms of raising the cit’s international profile, the impact is equivalent to an investment of $960 million in communications campaigns.

More than sponsorship

The second topic of the day, Marketing, was outlined by Antonio Garrigues, of the President of Garrigues law firm, Antonio Diaz Almagro, Senior Partner with Accenture, both of whom are very much involved with Madrid 2020, and Victor Sanchez, the CEO for the bid team.

Mr Sanchez emphasised the value of sponsors, pointing out that in London alone contributed 35 million to help our athletes prepare and another 18 million to our Paralympians.

“They are much more than sponsors. They are real partners, who have sat down with us in drawing up the bid and helped us with their experience and dedication.”

There are currently 25 sponsors already signed up to Madrid 2020.

With them in mind, Madrid 2020 has planned for an Olympic Hospitality Centre, in the Olympic Park, and another three at other venues so that partner companies can experience the Game at first hand and receive personal attention.

The sponsorship programme will pay for all outdoor advertising in the city between from July through to September 2020. Ad opportunities will be available for both for both the IOC and the sponsors. “This will maximise the promotion of the Olympics and the return for partner companies,” explained Mr Diaz Almagro.


Earnings from the sale of the 7.4 million tickets are expected to be in the order of $898 million. So there was a detailled explanation of the number of spectators expected, prices and receipts for the 689 Olympic and 300 Paralympic fixtures.

Following the principle of a ‘Games for all’ 70% of tickets will be below $109; more than a third will cost less than $55.

In terms of the Paralympic Games, ticket sales will generate $57.4 million. The average ticket price will be $25, with 55% below that figure.

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A city built for athletes

19 03 2013 [10:23] ~ Madrid 2020


The Olympic and Paralympic Village that the city of Madrid has designed to house the athletes competing at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, should the Spanish capital be chosen to host them, has a lot going for it.

Designed by athletes for athletes, it is at the very heart of the Games, situated just a short distance from all the competition and training venues and the city centre, and well connected to them also. As well as being comfortable, efficient, secure, totally sustainable and equipped with the latest technology, it is pleasant and welcoming too, offering lots of open spaces and a typically Spanish, Mediterranean feel.

Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) vice-president and Madrid 2020 CEO Victor Sanchez described the Olympic Village in these terms in presenting it to the members of the IOC’s Evaluation Commission.

“Our concept of the Village takes into account the best practices of previous organising committees, the requirements of the national Olympic and Paralympic committees, and the experience that we have ourselves acquired,” he said.

Sanchez then introduced the speakers providing the details on what is one of the Madrid 2020 Bid’s main assets. Helping COE vice-president and the bid’s International Relations CEO Theresa Zabell in this task

were the architect Javier Herreros, who designed the Olympic Village, and Juan Manuel Fernandez, the Assistant Deputy Director of Town Planning at Madrid City Council.

He also introduced the speakers taking part in the Paralympic Games presentation: Spanish Paralympic Committee (CPE) President Miguel Carballeda; CPE Secretary General Miguel Sagarra, who is also a member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board; and Teresa Perales, Spain’s most successful Paralympian of all time and a member of the IPC Athletes’ Council.

A home from home

“Without the athletes there are no Olympic Games,” said Zabell, speaking from experience as a two-time Olympic champion. “That’s why the organisers of the Games have the responsibility of creating an ideal environment for them. Athletes want security, comfort and convenience, and the best way to help them maximise their competitive potential is to make sure they’re relaxed and comfortable in the Village and to provide them with a home from home.”

“The Olympic Village will be a small and welcoming city with an atmosphere that reflects our own Spanish culture: warm and fun,” added Herreros. “An intelligent and sustainable community”, to use Herreros’ words, the Village will be just a short walk from the Olympic Stadium and an average of only eight minutes away from the rest of the venues. It will also boast excellent links to the city’s airport and high-speed rail link, the two “gateways” to Madrid.

Covering an area of 46 hectares, with an additional 18 hectares taken up by green areas, the Olympic Village will feature eight residential blocks with courtyards, all situated around communal gardens. It will provide accommodation for 17,800 athletes and coaches in total and will comprise 2,890 bedrooms, each occupied by a maximum of two athletes. There will be one bathroom for every four Olympic athletes and one for every three competitors at the Paralympic Games. Resident Centres will also be set up on the ground floor of each block to provide a rapid response whenever required.

The main facilities, including the canteen and National Olympic Committees Centre, will be centrally located and no more than five minutes’ walk away from any of the residential blocks.

General services will be located on the main pedestrian avenue, which leads to the Olympic Plaza, the point of connection between the main entrance, the Olympic Ring and the residential area. The main entrance and the support facilities will be located in the southern part of the Village, close to the residential area. There will also be a multi-purpose training centre within the Village.

Separate rest areas have been designed for athletes and guests, while parking areas will be made available to National Olympic Committees in order to meet everyday operational requirements. Situated next to the main canteen, the transport bay and the Facility Service Centre will be served by roads offering easy and direct access to the service roads. The Village will be situated on largely flat ground and special road surfaces will allow drivers to find their way around the Village safely and with a minimum of fuss.

Herreros said that the Olympic Village would be handed over to the Madrid Organising Committee (COM) in December 2019 to allow enough time to oversee the final stages prior to the opening. The Olympic Development Authority (ODA) will be responsible for the development of the Village.

The Olympic Legacy

The Olympic Village will be an eco-intelligent, green and environmentally sustainable community with a zero carbon footprint and efficient resource management. A comprehensive strategy has also been designed for the management of water and waste, the reduction of noise levels and low energy consumption. In line with the principles of bioclimatic architecture and landscaping, green energies will also be an integral part of the Village, with solar energy catering for a significant amount of its energy needs.

“For all these reasons the Olympic and Paralympic Village will be one of, if not the most important legacies of the Madrid Games,” said Juan Manuel Fernández.

Following the Games, the COM will hand the village back to the ODA, which will carry out the necessary legacy work. The handover of housing to future operators will be supervised and the sale and leasing of land and other facilities negotiated.

A joint private-public company will be responsible for funding the Village, while private funds will finance the buildings at the complex, and public administration will allocate land and meet the cost of urban planning projects and the remaining permanent facilities.

The Paralympic Games

The Paralympic Games will use the same venues and infrastructures as the Olympic Games. The fact that athlete accommodation is so close to the venues is one of main advantages offered by the bid, as Miguel Carballeda pointed out.

These Games aim to have a major impact around the world and increase the visibility of people with disabilities, allowing them to gain easier and more fluid access to education and employment opportunities and culture and leisure activities.

Carballeda also underlined the ample experience both Madrid and Spain have acquired in Paralympic sport and the strength of the country’s disability sector, which is built around the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (CERMI), an organisation representing four million people and their families. A further point in the bid’s favour is the support that people with disabilities receive from Spanish society.


Funding for the Paralympic Games is provided for in the Madrid Organising Committee’s combined 2020 Games budget, though as COE vice-president Sanchez explained, the budget includes a specific allocation of $179.2. In recognition of the social impact of the Games, the national, regional and municipal authorities will also contribute $32m each and will provide the necessary support services at no extra cost to the organisation.

Sanchez went on to say that one of the objectives of these Games is to “light up the future of people with disabilities” and also to transmit the values of Paralympic athletes to society. He said: “The example set by these men and women, who overcome all types of impairments in playing sport, studying, working and enjoying cultural and leisure activities should serve as one that inspires us all.”


Miguel Sagarra explained that Paralympic athletes will be given high-quality accommodation, which will be provided in line with the same service criteria applying to accommodation for Olympic athletes, while accessibility will be upgraded to meet their specific needs. A budget of $4.2 will be set aside for these improvements.

Competition officials will be housed in a different part of the Paralympic Village to the athletes and delegations. Meanwhile, the Paralympic family will stay at a five-star hotel located near to the Olympic Park. Plans have also been made regarding the accommodation of spectators and the employees of media outlets covering the event.


In terms of transport, the Madrid 2020 Bid has designed a compact network that makes the most of the proximity of residential and accommodation areas to the competition venues and guarantees short journey times. The model complies with the accessibility requirements laid down by the International Paralympic Committee.

As Sagarra explained, athletes and referees are not the only priority in terms of transport, with the necessary resources also being laid on for everyone else attending the Games, including spectators and the media.

Spanish Paralympic swimmer Teresa Perales said that the close proximity of accommodation to the venues is vital to the success of the Games: “We are going to put four years of our lives into this and we need the best possible conditions in which to train and rest. There are a lot of sports where you have to compete in heats and finals, with only a few hours between them. If we have to spend that time travelling, then it’s going to impact on our performance. Madrid 2020 understands that time is gold and will ensure that 85 percent of athletes will stay within five minutes of their competition venue and that average journey times will be eight to ten minutes only.


The central objective of Madrid 2020’s communications plan is to “inspire and excite” the world, and to transmit the values enshrined by Paralympic athletes to society and encourage other people with disabilities to follow their example and make the most of their abilities.

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Widespread public support for Madrid 2020

19 03 2013 [18:52] ~ Madrid 20200

Government, political figures came on Tuesday to highlight the values of the Madrid 2020 Olympic bid. The Spanish Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, Jose Ignacio Wert, was joined by the Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, the President of the Autonomous Region of Madrid, Ignacio Gonzalez and COE and Bid president Alejandro Blanco in expressing the unwavering commitment of the institutions they represent to the project to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In doing so, they also pointed to the support of the Spanish authorities in general for the Bid and the enthusiasm it is generating among the people of Spain.

Mayor Botella highlighted the findings of a nationwide survey conducted last September of 2,000 people of all ages, which revealed that 76.5 percent of people in the city of Madrid supported the Bid, a figure that rose to 85.7 percent in the Madrid region and 77.8% across the nation as a whole. Botella also said that 20,000 had already applied to become volunteers for the Games, a figure that is expected to rise to 50,000.

“This is the most wonderful feeling I’ve had since I started heading the Madrid 2020 Bid,” she said. As the mayor of Madrid I know that our bid has tremendous backing from both the Spanish public and the country’s political institutions, and I know that there is a whole groundswell of unconditional support right behind us. That support is ongoing and it drives us forward every day.”

She added: “The 2020 Bid would not have been possible with the enthusiastic involvement of the out-of-Madrid venues – Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Malaga, Cordoba, Valladolid, Paracuellos del Jarama and Getafe – and their respective autonomous regions – Catalonia, Aragon, Castile and Leon, Valencia and Andalusia – who have always given us their unstinting support.”

The mayor also spoke of the essential backing the Bid has received from the Spanish monarchy: “Madrid 2020 has the full support of our royal family, which is truly an Olympic family. The Prince of Asturias, who took part in the sailing competition at Barcelona 1992, is the honorary president of our bid and is anxious to play an active role as an Olympian in promoting the Games around the world. Prince Felipe is fully committed to helping make our dream, which is shared by Madrid, Spain and the whole Spanish-speaking world, a reality.”

New anti-doping act

The Spanish Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, Jose Ignacio Wert, announced that a new anti-doping act would come into effect in June. The act has the approval of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and brings Spanish legislation fully into line with WADA and the IOC’s regulations on this issue.

In reference to the economic crisis, the minister said: “The Games are a wonderful opportunity to boost our economy and to return Spain to its rightful place in the world.”

Another of the commitments enshrined in the bid is the agreement that the Spanish government, the regional government of Madrid and Madrid City Council have made to create the Olympic Development Office (ODA), which will build the necessary infrastructures and meet the cost of the work, which is detailed in the bid’s financial guarantees.

Rounding up, Wert said: “The Olympic and Paralympic Games are sport, but they are also education and culture. This is a national project in every sense and it is for that reason that it has the explicit support of virtually every political party represented at each of the three levels of government.”

Unity at all levels of government

As a sign of the Autonomous Region of Madrid’s commitment, its president Ignacio Gonzalez said it would make a series of first-class facilities available to the bid. He announced that new venues would be built, such as the Paracuellos Shooting Centre and La Gavia White Water Centre, and that the regional government would take part in the construction of the Olympic Village.

During his contribution to the presentation, Gonzalez focused his attention on the solidity and strength of the bid, and highlighted the desire at all levels of government to see the Games take place in Madrid without a hitch. He added: “Together we make a great team, and like a good sports team we are all pulling together to overcome any weaknesses.”

Athletes and youngsters

In his capacity as the President of the COE and the Madrid 2020 Bid, Alejandro Blanco put the emphasis in his speech on the passion that Spanish society, the country’s sporting institutions and major Spanish and international companies are showing for the project. Blanco said that young people were expressing more support than anyone for Madrid 2020: “They see it as a unique and exceptional project, as the project of their lives.”

This widespread acceptance is also being expressed in social networks, with Madrid 2020 attracting more than 40,000 followers on Facebook and 17,000 on Twitter, and 190,000 people logging on to the Madrid 2020 video channel.

Legal and financial aspects

In his speech, the Spanish Minister for Industry, Energy and Tourism, Jose Manuel Soria, detailed the extensive range of legal and administrative initiatives that the government will implement to ensure the success of the Madrid Games, including the total protection of the Olympic and Paralympic logos and symbols. Legal initiatives include the strengthening of the comprehensive protection of sponsors’ rights and the awarding of tax incentives, while tougher measures will be introduced to stamp out ambush marketing, a practice that causes great harm to official sponsors.

In financial terms, the minister announced that the Executive would safeguard a third of the investment needed to complete all the infrastructures detailed in the Candidature File, and would also contribute some $33m to the Paralympic Games budget.

Mayor Botella added that Spain is wholeheartedly committed to the Games, as is the Autonomous Region of Madrid and the city of Madrid itself. “There is one very good explanation for this level of commitment,” she said. “We have been dreaming of hosting the Games for the best part of 15 years and we have been working together to achieve that goal. We know we can make this dream come true and we are totally prepared to host the 2020 Games.”

Botella added: “Our bid meets all the IOC’s rules and regulations in full. The IOC framework is 100-percent compatible with Spanish legislation, and each and every one of the Spanish institutions taking part have guaranteed that the Olympic Charter and the Host City Contract will observed and complied with at every level. Furthermore, Madrid 2020, the City of Madrid and the COE have been working closely with the IOC throughout.”

The mayor went on to say that the bid is also ready at an institutional level and explained the structure of the Bid Committee and how it would eventually become the Olympic Development Office and the Madrid Organising Committee (COM), which would include two bodies: the Madrid 2020 Foundation and the Madrid 2020 Corporation.

The articles of association of the foundation and the corporation would allow an immediate transition to the ODA and the COM, with the Spanish government, the Autonomous Region of Madrid and Madrid City Council all forming part of the ODA. The ODA’s main responsibility would be to develop and organise the necessary venues and infrastructures, 78 percent of which is already in place, as is well known. The ODA would also offer the public services necessary to host the Games. It should also be noted that the officials forming part of the ODA would also sit on the COM along with representatives from the Olympic committees and the Spanish members of the IOC, thereby ensuring effective coordination between the ODA and the COM.

Sponsors’ rights

Felix Plaza of the law firm Garrigues described the strengths of the bid’s fiscal and legal framework, which provides for the compliance with and implementation of the pledges made by public and private bodies. Plaza added that this legal protection will safeguard the rights awarded to Olympic sponsors, the media and other commercial partners in ensuring the success of the event.”

Madrid 2020 Managing Director Victor Sanchez then shed light on the functions and organisational system that the ODA and COM would adopt during the various development phases. In fulfilling its objectives, the ODA would follow a coordination model at every level, while the COM (a private not-for-profit organisation) has been designed, as Sanchez put it, to ensure a fluid transition from the bid phase to the Organising Committee phase.

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Yesterday, the EC visited the Olympic Park (athletics, aquatics, gymnastics, track cycling and BMX), the IFEMA pavillions (badminton, boxing, fencing, judo, taekwondo, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling) and the Real Madrid City (rugby and hockey).


Works on the Aquatics Centre


Olympic Stadium


Today, they'll be visiting all the venues along the River Manzanares.

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Transport and accommodation all set for Madrid 2020

20 03 2013 [20:44] ~ Madrid 2020
Madrid is prepared to welcome all the athletes, support teams, media, spectators and other tourists who will visit the city in August 2020 in the event that it is chosen to host the Games.
“Around 80% of the capacity required is within a radius of 10 kilometres of the city. We will be able to offer 44, 933 beds in hotels ranging from 2 to 5 stars,” said Donna Taylor, who was in charge of accommodation for London 2012.
Some 1,800 rooms have been set aside for use by members of the International Olympic Committee and organising staff. They will stay in 5 star hotels near the Retiro where some events are taking place. The Paralympic family will be accommodated in a fully accessible hotel near the Olympic Park.
Madrid 2020 already has a plan in place to host all the different groups involved in the Games. Members of the media can stay in hotels close to competition sites and in the Media Village in the heart of the Games. In the Media Village, journalists will have 3000 rooms where they can work in excellent conditions.
Both the hotels and apartment blocks have meeting rooms for use by guests during the Games. “We started working well in advance, at the highest level with a solid and cohesive team to achieve one end: Madrid 2020,” said Jesus Gatell, president of the Madrid Hoteliers Association.
The number and diversity of hotels on offer in the city is sufficient to accommodate all those visiting Madrid during the Games. These hotels will be able to satisfy the expectations of any visitors by offering the latest technology, as well as security and professionalism. “We are not merely chasing profits in 2020. We want to be useful to society and to position Madrid well for the future,” added Mr Gatell.
From the culinary point of view, Madrid can also offer great quality: With 53,000 restaurants in or near the capital “we can guarantee a great dining experience,” said Joaquin Castillo, Director General of Tourism in the Madrid Region, adding that there is also a wide range of cultural and artistic activities on offer in the immediate area.
The transport plan for Madrid 2020 is based on the existing infrastructure, which will be, in and of itself, sufficient to cover the travel needs of those attending the Games.
“All transport requirements during the Olympics can be met without any important changes to the public transport and road system,” said Saioa Sancho, of the company responsible for planning the transport strategy. “The objective is to move different groups of customers easily and safely between the competition sites and their lodging.”
Under the transport plan the average travel time for 65% of athletes living in the Olympic Village will be 5 minutes and for 98% of them it will be less than 15 minutes. No one should have to travel more than 25 minutes.
The existing infrastructure, which has been improved in the last few years, will meet the needs of the 2020 Games, without the need for ambitious construction projects, according to Carlos Cristobal, Director of Quality, Processes and External Relations for the Regional Transport Consortium.
Barajas International Airport, the principal gateway to the city, welcomed more than 49 million passengers in 2011 and is prepared to receive more 70 million per annum in the future.
With four terminals and a good system of public transport to reach the city (train, metro, taxi and bus), the airport is perfectly placed to handle the demands of 2020.
The high-speed rail network will mean journey times of less than two and a half hours between Madrid and the other host cities – Valencia for sailing and Barcelona, ​​Córdoba, Málaga, Valladolid and Zaragoza for football.
The road network features 12 radial and four major ring roads, which are accessed via wide streets and avenues.
An international benchmark
Madrid’s public transport is unrivalled, having received more than 15 million euros in investment in the last 20 years. This sum went into increasing metro capacity, new suburban train lines, more bus hubs etc.
Around 42% of journeys in Madrid take place on public transport, 34 are on foot and only 24 by private vehicles.
Access for people with limited mobility is assured on the entire fleet of buses and on 61% of the metro system.
With regard to the Games $427 million has been set aside to improve access at Olympic venues. This will in turn have implications for public transport since four new stations are planned on the existing lines (three on the suburban rail system and one on the metro). One metro line will be extended.
Although most spectators will use the existing transport system (bearing in mind that there is a 30% increase during the summer), additional services will be laid on. These include express Olympic buses and an increase in metro services to the Olympic Park.
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The Games live from Madrid

20 03 2013 [21:14] ~ Madrid 2020


More than 19,000 journalists will descend on Madrid to cover the Olympic Games in the event that it is chosen as the 2020 host city.

Coverage of the Games is an important Olympic objective given that it will provide an opportunity to achieve international recognition of Madrid and to work with new technologies in the dissemination of information.

“Broadcasting rights represent more than 50% of the income for the Olympic movement,” says Jim Curley, director of Madrid 2020’s International Communication Agency.

The Madrid Games will provide an opportunity to take advantage of new technology that will be developed in the coming years both when it comes to the facilities and to communications strategies.

“We want to build on the lessons learned from London, but also incorporate new ideas,” said Lorena Segura, the architect in charge of the design of the Media Village.

The housing in Village will be built out of top quality industrially produced prefabricated modular structures. It will be erected in the Campo de las Naciones cluster, from where it will be possible to walk to the main Games sites.

The Village will have the flavour of a Mediterranean ‘barrio’, but constructed on the basis of energy efficiency and respect for the environment.

Space, flexibility and versatility are the hallmarks of the accommodation to be specially created for the media.

“We want to construct iconic, memorable buildings but that ones that are sustainable too. These will be constructions that leave a lasting legacy but at a low cost.”

The location of the Media Village near to other key sites and the efficient transport system are considered great strengths of the Madrid bid.

Positive spirit atmosphere

Aside from the logistics, the celebration of the Games represents an opportunity to create an “positive atmosphere around the world,” added Mr Curley, a veteran of 77 world and 85 European championships.

More than two months of sport is enough to promote Olympic values. “Madrid will infect the whole world with its passion, creating and sharing positive values to inspire current and future generations.”

According to the communications expert, the city’s culture, unique historical traditions, weather, time zone and “even the light” are points in favour of the bid. To promote this iconic Spanish city, locations such as the Santiago Bernabeu and the Retiro Park have been chosen.

The national communications plan is based on “increasing the support throughout Spanish society”, stresses Ignacio Gómez Acebo, Director of Communications with Madrid 2020. “We want to promote the values of the Olympic Movement and share them with the whole society in the years leading up to 2020”.

The Olympic extravagana is an opportunity for Madrid to welcome the world with open arms. To give one example of the communicative power of the event, the Olympic torch will travel through 400 municipalities and will be a “magic moment”. “We are going to organise spectacular iniatiaves, some of them seen at previous Games and some totally new ones,” he added.

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Welcome speech by HRH Prince of Asturias at IOC Evaluation Gala Dinner

20 03 2013 [22:12] ~ Madrid 2020

Sport and the principles of the Olympic movement encourage us to reaffirm a system of values that prioritises solidarity, fair play, health, as well as friendship and tolerance. It pushes us as individuals and as a collective to be better.

Paralympic sport involves other fundamental virtues such as courage, the will to overcome obstacles and the desire for integration. The Olympic movment, particularly through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, is the main engine for these values and attitudes.

Tomorrow you will have to listen to me for the last time on this visit. Madrid has qualities that I must stress. It is a city which is open to the world, with a population that is recognised for its hospitality, generosity and tolerance.

Madrid isn’t just a European city, it is also undoubtedly a showcase for the Hispanic and Ibero-American world. Our capital can offer peace and harmony and also has a safe and accessible location.

Madrid has persevered and in time we have improved our bid in an effort to be chosen as the host city for a Games that we so want and that so many people are fighting for.

Definitive evidence of our sporting and Olympic spirit is that we do not give up and we hold in high esteem the movement and the philosophy that are the basis for the Games.

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Public transport is one of Madrid 2020’s key strengths

21 03 2013 [8:11] ~ Madrid 2020
Sunshine on Wednesday followed the previous day’s rain, allowing the IOC Evaluation Commission members to stroll around Madrid’s proposed Olympic venues and enjoy magnificent views of the city at each one.
On the agenda this time were the Hippodrome, the Madrid Arena, the Caja Magica, the Club de Campo which are all within easy reach of each other. This meant one of the Spanish capital’s key strengths was in evidence – the transport system.
Afterwards, the Mayor shared her delight at the reaction from the chairman of the Commission, Sir Craig Reedie. “He told me we have a lot of reasons to be proud of this city.”
Alejandro Blanco, the bid chief, summed up his satisfaction with the day like this: “One great plus is that we are really prepared and we have a compact project, which the whole world can see already.
“The Olympic movement runs no financial or organisational risk if the Games are awarded to Madrid.
Speaking about the Madrid Arena, he said it was “iconic and one of the best (venues) in the world”.
Mr Blanco, also the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee, made reference to the tragedy that occurred in the Arena in November. He stressed that it had not taken place during a sports fixture and praised the city council for subsequently reviewing health and safety procedures at all municipal venues.
Mayor Botella went on to say that one expert had described the Caja Magica as “the best tennis stadium in the world”. Despite this, she said it is “under-utilised because of the crisis.” “When we look back in a few years time, we will realise just how profitable the Caja Magica is.”
At Wednesday’s press conference the Mayor also announced the decision to provide accommodation in university halls of residence, thus increasing access to the Games.
“We want to welcome people of all means and student housing is one way to ensure that,” she said.
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Olympics: Madrid 2020 bid better than previous efforts - IOC

Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:48pm EDT


By Iain Rogers

MADRID (Reuters) - Madrid's bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games is an improvement on their failed efforts to secure the 2012 and 2016 editions which could be "third time lucky" for the Spanish capital, the head of the evaluation commission said on Thursday.

Madrid, which is competing with Istanbul and Tokyo for the 2020 Games, has been presenting its candidacy to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) commission, headed by IOC vice president Craig Reedie, this week.

Reedie told a news conference concluding the four-day visit that the commission had been "greatly impressed" by the presentation.

"I think what happens in every bidding context is that the cities just get better and better and better," he said.

"People have seen the experience of Games in different parts of the world and I don't think there is any doubt that this candidature has learned from that.

"They have taken the 2016 concept as a base and it is a better concept now than it was then. Who knows maybe it'll be third time lucky?"

Each city delivered their candidature files to the IOC in January and on-site inspections by an evaluation commission began in Tokyo this month.

Istanbul will host the commission from March 24-27 before it publishes a technical assessment at the beginning of July.


Sebastian Coe, the twice Olympic 1,500 meters champion and chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee, said this month the three cities' ability to provide a convincing reason why they want to stage the Games and not just prove that they can would be the key to winning.

Mapping out an attractive "Games legacy" would be crucial to gaining the backing of IOC members at a vote in Buenos Aires in September, he told a forum in Madrid.

Reedie's comments on Thursday were echoed by Gilbert Felli, the IOC's Olympic Games executive director.

"The cities always learn from the process of candidacies," he told the news conference.

"We have seen that with the quality of what has been presented to us here. So yes it's an improvement with the process of the candidacy of Madrid."

With the economy struggling and unemployment at record levels, many Spaniards are worried about the cost of hosting an Olympics and the issue dominated questions at the news conference.

"We have had a very clear statement from the bid committee," Reedie said. "They believe the Spanish economy has suffered a very difficult time but that it has stabilized and it will improve.

"I have to tell you if I could predict the future movement of world economies I would not be sitting here. We are grateful for their honesty and openness."

(Editing by John Mehaffey)

© Thomson Reuters 2013 All rights reserved.

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Best tennis facilities in the world? I think Londoners and Melburnians would beg to differ.

Probably to say that is exagerating too much, but I can´t think right now of another tennis facility with three courts with retractable roofs (12.500, 3.500 & 2.500 capacity).

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Probably to say that is exagerating too much, but I can´t think right now of another tennis facility with three courts with retractable roofs (12.500, 3.500 & 2.500 capacity).

The tennis precinct at Melbourne Olympic Park (which hosts the annual Austalian Open- one of the four Grand Slam events in the world), has Rod Laver Arena (retractable roof) 15,000; Hisense Arena (retractable roof), 10,500 capacity; Margaret Court Arena (retractable roof), 7,500 and then dozens of other small (both indoor and outdoor) training and tournament courts with capacities from a few hundred to over a thousand.

Go figure .

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