Jump to content

How does a Big City has to be to Host the Olympics?


Recommended Posts

I was wondering how big does a City has to be in order to host a Olympics in both Winter and Summer? I notice the Cities that host The Summer Olympics are generally Larger then the Cites who host the Winter Olympics in size and Population.

Welcome to GBids.

How long's a piece of string?

It's not an easy question to answer - and it's precisely the type of thing we debate, and talk about, and argue about and discuss and discuss over and over again across multiple threads and forums. Have a look around some of the different topics and you might start to get some idea of the sort of criteria that gets considered (or we think should/is considered).

Link to post
Share on other sites

@USAOlympicsfan, well, if one were to 'quantify it,' and to quote from the horse's mouth himself, IOC president Jacques Rogge said "....at least a 2.5 million population for a Summer host."

But that's really just a number he pulled out of thin air. What it means is that the city (and/or the metropolitan area that falls under the anchor city's administrative reach) must be of a certain critical mass in order to capably deliver a Summer Games of the 21st century, and indeed, a safe minimum number would be in the 2.5 million range. Of course, the last 4 hosts are in the higher bracket ((greater) Athens - est 4 mil in 2004; Beijing - 8 mil; London - at least 8 mil; Rio is supposedly in the 6.5 mil range). Sydney probably was on the 2.5 mil cusp when it hosted in 2000. While Atlanta had a city limits population of like 460,000 in 1996, the adjoining suburbs which provided many hotels and other venues, fell within the Greater Metro stats of 1.5 million then. But another point in Atlanta's favor is that it is the major corporate home of a number of companies who are big Olympic sponsors,not only internationally, but are the regional hqtrs of many other sponsoring corporate entities.

Now the Winter Games (which are just about a 3rd of the SOG in terms of both events and participating nations/athletes only requires a largish metro city as anchor city for the ice events and, ideally, a nearby (w/in an hour or so) set of snow venues. So, they could be as small as Salt Lake City (host city pop: est 180,000 (then you include the other satellite cities, Park City, Provo, etc, etc.,)) or as large as Vancouver (the biggest so far, in the 900,000 range). Winter Games host considerations are usually more geographic rather than geo-economic-political criteria which come into play more in the choice of a Summer host.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
Link to post
Share on other sites

Both Atlanta's & Sydney's metro populations were much larger than that when they hosted. Atlanta's was at least twice that much at over 3 million, & Sydney at 4 million.

Rogge definitely gives the bare minimum for the Summer Games. And when the other critical infrastructure, besides the venues, is figured into the equation, it should be no surprise to anyone why Baku & Doha have gotten cut twice in a row (besides their other more obvious deficiencies), even though they have the money to build the "venues". Both fall short of the '2.5' million mark, especially Doha.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say, technically, if the geographical landscape permits, and money is no question - you could really stage the Olympic Games anywhere. Population isn't really the indicator - it just happens that all suitable venues for the Olympics over the past few decades have been in urban areas of several millions.

And thanks FYI for that population correction - Sydney's metro population was just around the 4.2 million mark at the time of the 2000 Olympic Games (it had grown to 4.6 million at the 2011 Census - quite steady compared to the huge population growth in Melbourne and Brisbane - an Australian demographer Bernard Salt a few years ago mentioned that in the post-2000 years Sydney ran the risk of being a post-Olympic "Montreal"to Melbourne and Brisbane's "Toronto" scale growth. NSW state politics over the past decade have dwelled on the idea that Sydney hasn't capitalised on the economic growth potential of the 2000 Games enough)

Edited by runningrings
Link to post
Share on other sites

I' you could really stage the Olympic Games anywhere. Population isn't really the indicator - i

Absolute nonsense. You CANNOT stage a 21st century Summer Olympics just anywhere. I don't think you can stage it in Hobart, Haiti, Honolulu or Hambantota. Of course, you NEED a certain critical MASS to have a corps of wealthy sponsors who will foot the initial bills, hundreds of thousands of people to sell the tickets to NOT one but THREE mega-events (the Cultural Olympiad, the regular Olympics AND the Paralympics). Even a small city like Zurich in a rich country like Switzerland would not make those 3 events successful. You will need a pool of hundreds of thousands of people to fill the stadia, fill the 65,000- 80,000 positions to staff the venues and compose the Ceremonies casts; another 100,000+ people in the hospitality industry to house and feed Olympic visitors; let alone have an IOC-licensed lab. They DON'T certify every city to have an Officially licensed IOC lab.

A large city of several millions generally has most of the infrastructure (the airports, the trains, the subways, highways, etc.) needed to stage the Games. You will need some at least 40,000 hotel rooms, quite a few universities and colleges to provide training sites, hundreds of extra dorm rooms for the press, overflow security forces; observer teams, and advance teams from the next few hosting cities.

Don't fool yourself if you think a 1,000,000 and under city can stage it.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolute nonsense. You CANNOT stage a 21st century Summer Olympics anywhere just anywhere. I don't think you can stage it in Hobart, Haiti, Honolulu or Hambantota. Of course, you NEED a certain critical MASS to have a corps of wealthy sponsors who will foot the initial bills, hundreds of thousands of people to sell the tickets to NOT one but THREE mega-events (the Cultural Olympiad, the regular Olympics AND the Paralympics). Even a small city like Zurich in a rich country like Switzerland would not make those 3 events successful. You will need a pool of hundreds of thousands of people to ffill the stadia, fill the 50,000- 70,000 positions to staff the venues and compose the Ceremonies casts; another 100,000+ people in the hospitality industry to house and feed Olympic visitors; let alone have an IOC-licensed lab. They DON'T certify every city to have an Officially licensed IOC lab.

A large city of several millions generally has most of the infrastructure (the airports, the trains, the subways, highways, etc.) needed to stage the Games. You will need some at least 40,000 hotel rooms, quite a few universities and colleges to provide training sites, hundreds of extra dorm rooms for the press, overflow security forces; observer teams, and advance teams from the next few hosting cities.

Don't fool yourself if you think a 1,000,000 and under city can stage it.

You've taken my quote completely out of context, then made a mountain out of it. The words I had in that sentence (which you've deleted) are "and money is no question" - which undermines your following post.

I was being hypothetical, and stand by my original statement. If money was no problem, and geography permits, the Olympics could be staged anywhere. As for Zurich - if the Swiss had the desire (which I doubt they would) - I'm sure could stage a well organised Olympics catered to them. As for sponsors and Zurich - it's bloody Zurich.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You've taken my quote completely out of context, then made a mountain out of it. The words I had in that sentence (which you've deleted) are "and money is no question" - which undermines your following post.

I was being hypothetical, and stand by my original statement. If money was no problem, and geography permits, the Olympics could be staged anywhere. As for Zurich - if the Swiss had the desire (which I doubt they would) - I'm sure could stage a well organised Olympics catered to them. As for sponsors and Zurich - it's bloody Zurich.

The Arabs and the Gulf states have all the money in the world to buy and stage an Olympics...yet I doubt that one will ever be given to them. Nah about your statement for Zurich. Zurich, Dublin, Geneva, Copenhagen, Budapest, etc. of that ilk -- those cities AREN'T large enough to stage an Olympic games...which is why the IOC gives them the IOC Sessions as a consolation prize, But I guess, we just have different ways of assessing which cities are Olympic-capable and which aren't.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The size of the games is smaller in Winter editions, however, some cities hosting WOG have large populations in their metro area so is not the city but the surrounding area in those cases... That's what I think, but still is a difficult question you made me think about it :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hosting the Winter Games is nowhere near as complex logistically as hosting the Summer Games and I get a little tired of people making direct comparisons

I agree with Baron. In the present world economic climate (i.e. in 2013) there are not that many cities that would be capable of staging an Olympics that represented a success across all three elements.

I would have thought that Athens would be about the smallest city that the IOC would contemplate the Games being awarded to now and, of course, economically that would be an impossibility for the foreseeable future.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hosting the Winter Games is nowhere near as complex logistically as hosting the Summer Games...

The winter games I think are a little trickier to host. These days, you have to have a decent sized city in close proximity to some decent mountains. Really the only two cities suitable and have the capacity in Canada to host a winter games are Vancouver and Calgary, On the other hand, both cities could host a summer games. Maybe easier to do in Calgary than Vancouver as Vancouver is getting crowded now. But Toronto needs its turn to host.;)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

The Arabs and the Gulf states have all the money in the world to buy and stage an Olympics...yet I doubt that one will ever be given to them. Nah about your statement for Zurich. Zurich, Dublin, Geneva, Copenhagen, Budapest, etc. of that ilk -- those cities AREN'T large enough to stage an Olympic games...which is why the IOC gives them the IOC Sessions as a consolation prize, But I guess, we just have different ways of assessing which cities are Olympic-capable and which aren't.

Apologies for dragging up this thread - but you are missing my point, entirely. I'll reiterate it again - HYPOTHETICALLY, if money is no issue, the Olympic Games could be staged anywhere near a reasonable population, including all the aforementioned cities.

Alas its a pointless argument - money is an issue. Remind me to never make hypothetical statements.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really do think nowadays for the summer games at least you have to be a major global city to have any chance of a successful bid. A smaller city of 1m or so may be perfectly capable (the likes of Manchester for example) but I do think the IOC want the games to be in cities with a bit of status, so London was the only option for the UK, Paris is the only option for France and Rome and Madrid are probably the only options for Italy and Spain - I'm not even sure Barcelona would win it these days.

Talk of Dallas or Tulsa bidding for the US in 2024 is ridiculous really - I do think even if they could offer better technical bids that the US needs to put their big guns forward (Los Angeles, New York, Chicago) if they want any chance of success. They may have been bad losers but the main reason both New York and Chicago lost was that is was too soon after not just Atlanta, but Los Angeles too, plus of course the other bids were actually better. I think there is a feeling though that a US games at some point between 2024 and 2032 is highly likely, and I do think from now on they're bidding with a clean slate, but it's a wasted bid if they put a minor city forward.

The Winter Games seem to be moving towards bigger cities too - not sure we'll ever see a resort city like Albertville or Lillehammer host again.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I really do think nowadays for the summer games at least you have to be a major global city to have any chance of a successful bid. A smaller city of 1m or so may be perfectly capable (the likes of Manchester for example) but I do think the IOC want the games to be in cities with a bit of status, so London was the only option for the UK, Paris is the only option for France and Rome and Madrid are probably the only options for Italy and Spain - I'm not even sure Barcelona would win it these days.

Talk of Dallas or Tulsa bidding for the US in 2024 is ridiculous really - I do think even if they could offer better technical bids that the US needs to put their big guns forward (Los Angeles, New York, Chicago) if they want any chance of success. They may have been bad losers but the main reason both New York and Chicago lost was that is was too soon after not just Atlanta, but Los Angeles too, plus of course the other bids were actually better. I think there is a feeling though that a US games at some point between 2024 and 2032 is highly likely, and I do think from now on they're bidding with a clean slate, but it's a wasted bid if they put a minor city forward.

The Winter Games seem to be moving towards bigger cities too - not sure we'll ever see a resort city like Albertville or Lillehammer host again.

Pyeongchang is a smaller resort city host, an Asian Albertville/Lillehammer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

PyeongChang is co-hosting with Gangneung, though (pop. around 250,000). So it's more like a Vancouver/Whistler or Sochi/Krasnaya Polyana type combo deal.

Right but it is not as if Lillehammer and Albertville shouldered the entire event themselves... IIRC correctly Albertville itself hosted only the Ceremonies and skating events, everything else was scattered through the region in other localities.

In fact, given what you mention, I've wondered why 2018 in particular chose to go with Pyeongchang as the host name -- surely Gangneung would have been better, especially given how similar the names Pyeongchang and Pyeongyang are.

Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah, but Albertville was a highly criticized Games bcuz of their spreadout nature. There were no clusters. That's not a Games for other host cities to model. Now we seem to have the "ice & snow" clusters for the Winter Games, as is/was the case for Vancouver, Sochi & PyeongChang.

The reason why PyeongChang is the designated host city is bcuz they're the ones that are going to be hosting the ceremonies. Per the Olympic Charter, the 'host city' is the one that's suppose to host the ceremonies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pyeongchang is a smaller resort city host, an Asian Albertville/Lillehammer.

Smaller resorts are too small to host a Winter Olympics in the 21st century. So it's unlikely we'll ever see anything like Albertville or Lillehammer ever again. Pyeongchang/Gangnueng is hardly a big city like Vancouver or Turin or Salt Lake, but it's also not a relatively small mountain village either. Even if you count the neighboring regions of Lillehammer like Gjovik and Hamar that hosted competitions into the total population of the area, it still pales in comparison to what we're getting with 2018.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was always under the impression that the IOC wanted an 'anchor' city of reasonable size to host the OWGs. I can remember the NZ Olympic study into Queenstown hosting the event came up with a 1994 set up but got informed by the IOC that it would only be even considered in a bid round if Christchurch was the main candidate city. A few years later Christchurch launched a long range study into hosting the OWGs from '18 thru '30...as we all know it came all crashing down around them in 2011.

Also a BIG city needs to absorb the cost...Just look at Vancouver 2010, who didn't enjoy that extraviganza! (Vancouver could easliy host the summer games as well)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the IOC's preference for a northern winter is a greater hinderance to any future Chch OWG bid than the 2011 quake. I think the event itself would be very well suited to post-quake Christchurch in a decade or more - part of the regeneration process.

Edited by runningrings
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the IOC's preference for a northern winter is a greater hinderance to any future Chch OWG bid than the 2011 quake. I think the event itself would be very well suited to post-quake Christchurch in a decade or more - part of the regeneration process.

It's not just the IOC.. it's all the sport federations who don't want to switch their calendars either. They'd need the cooperation of most if not all of those organizations for a Southern hemisphere city to even be considered to host a Winter Olympics. Until the media landscape and general perception changes to allow a winter sporting event to be presented to the world during the northern Summer, we won't see a Southern Winter Olympics.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...