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Will a Munich 2022 bid be favourite?


gromit
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I know hardly anyone will be interested on this day, but I just learned a juicy detail about the failed Munich 2022 bid:

In early 2013, the then German interior minister approached the then DOSB President (aka Fencing 1976) and informed him that the government would fully support the bid if it happened.

Now, you‘d think any NOC would jump up and down with joy at such news.

Well, not our dear Thomas Bach. He told the minister to get back to him „in five months“, which was way too late for the minister because in summer, there was federal election campaigning and no room for such side issues.

So, Bach was too busy running his own Presidential campaign, his ego winning gold as usual.

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16 minutes ago, StefanMUC said:

I know hardly anyone will be interested on this day, but I just learned a juicy detail about the failed Munich 2022 bid:

In early 2013, the then German interior minister approached the then DOSB President (aka Fencing 1976) and informed him that the government would fully support the bid if it happened.

Now, you‘d think any NOC would jump up and down with joy at such news.

Well, not our dear Thomas Bach. He told the minister to get back to him „in five months“, which was way too late for the minister because in summer, there was federal election campaigning and no room for such side issues.

So, Bach was too busy running his own Presidential campaign, his ego winning gold as usual.

Interesting. How did that come up like almost a decade later?

Not much of a surprise here, though. It's not like it's news to us here that Bach cares little of anything that does not directly benefit his personal career and ego.

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43 minutes ago, munichfan said:

Interesting. How did that come up like almost a decade later?

Not much of a surprise here, though. It's not like it's news to us here that Bach cares little of anything that does not directly benefit his personal career and ego.

I found it on Jens Weinreich‘s blog. Given his usually very good sources and own investigations, plus the fact it‘s totally within Bach‘s character makes this quite credible.

To be a bit more precise: it was not Bach himself who told the minister to wait, but his office. Which of course wouldn‘t act like that without instruction.

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20 minutes ago, FYI said:

But why the referendum then? Seems like it would’ve been futile regardless, even if it’d had passed.

Not sure I understand?

The referendum was done because there was broad political consensus so politicians believed it would be an easy win. It was also organised after Bach became IOC President only, and as I wrote a few posts up, the timing was a disaster. 
 

If it had passed, the bid would have gone ahead for sure, even though the federal and Bavarian governments had slightly changed after their respective elections in 2013. DOSB might have found a way to spoil everything with their amateur behaviour though.

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Playing devil's advocate a little, I can only imagine how this board would've reacted if Bach's first act was to declare the Games going to Germany.

Perhaps it was never realistic to expect both, and perhaps Bach was right in not wanting to give off such an impression.

That said, the alternative timeline of Munich 22 and a different President would be a happier one.

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2 minutes ago, Rob. said:

Playing devil's advocate a little, I can only imagine how this board would've reacted if Bach's first act was to declare the Games going to Germany.

Perhaps it was never realistic to expect both, and perhaps Bach was right in not wanting to give off such an impression.

That said, the alternative timeline of Munich 22 and a different President would be a happier one.

Yes, there‘s that. More of a hindrance for the 2018 bid though. Clearly, he was frontrunner already then and contrary to his public behaviour, he did not lift a finger to help that bid as it would have endangered his chanced two years later.

The 2022 bid would have been technically supersafe, historic 50 years after 72 and, instead of Beijing, would have been the first summer/winter host. Germany was (and still is) due to an Olympics again anyway for a country of such size and Olympic importance. 

There would have been lots of arguments why it‘s ok to choose Munich so soon after Bach became President without creating a bad taste.

 

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1 hour ago, Rob. said:

Playing devil's advocate a little, I can only imagine how this board would've reacted if Bach's first act was to declare the Games going to Germany.

In a vote against China and Kazakhstan? Meh. That shouldn't've been too much of an issue.

1 hour ago, StefanMUC said:

Germany was (and still is) due to an Olympics again anyway for a country of such size and Olympic importance. 

Weren't we promised a masterplan to attract "future large-scale sporting events" by our former legislation? Did it implode after the shenanigans around the 2032 Rhine-Ruhr bid or what happened to that one?

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15 minutes ago, munichfan said:

 

Weren't we promised a masterplan to attract "future large-scale sporting events" by our former legislation? Did it implode after the shenanigans around the 2032 Rhine-Ruhr bid or what happened to that one?

I guess that imploded like that government and the DOSB leadership. New government and new leadership are stating more or less the same though. I'll believe it when I see it.

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On 1/25/2022 at 2:35 PM, StefanMUC said:

So, 10 days before the Opening Ceremony of what will probably be quite a traumatic Olympics in many ways, time to revisit this thread from my own, admittedly local and thus a bit selfish perspective.

You're always smarter in hindsight, but I would still answer the question in the thread title with "Yes, absolutely!".

But why did it go all wrong then? Without wanting to dig back into the details of the previous 16.5 pages of discussion here, I'll try to give an assessment from a distance of more than eight years since the referendum failed.

Let's start in 2011 with the somewhat expected defeat against PC. The IOC itself basically had both bids neck to neck on technical merits, but they a) couldn't reject PC for a third time in a row and b) the Bach Presidency bid was very much waiting to get off the blocks, and everyone in the IOC knew that. They surely couldn't give Germany two gold medals back to back...

Nevertheless, that rejection did not go down well here, obviously also because nobody had really pre-warned the public of the points a) and b) above sufficiently. Still, two years later, plans were ready to try again. Some details of the 2011 were tweaked to use more existing facilities and rely on state instead of private land property more, but the core remained, and the core already had found technical approval by the IOC in 2011.

So, there was reason to be optimistic about that new bid - despite upcoming elections, the Bavarian ruling conservatives as well as the Munich ruling Social Democrats were united, liberals supported it too and the Greens were split on the issue, not completely against as some also pointed out it could be done more sustainably than the - then upcoming - 2014 Games because most venues already existed in a good shape.

Then it was decided to hold a referendum to secure public support, but when? Eventually, it was scheduled for early November, just before the IOC bidding deadline, and it was to be held in Munich city as well as in the three other hubs Garmisch-Partenkirchen (skiing), Traunstein district (biathlon, speed skating) and Berchtesgaden (sliding sports). Munich Mayor Christian Ude aimed for a "4-0" result in these individual referendums, but also stated this bid would only go ahead if all four locations approved.

As we now know, it ended 0-4 after all.

There can be lots of speculation as to what happened. Quite obviously, a very well organised NOlympics campaign managed to get loud and heard and found an easy target in an IOC that already did not have a good image in Germany, also not saved by making Thomas Bach its President just a few weeks earlier. Nevertheless, given that all locations host major sports events very regularly and attract large crowds, I think the public could have been persuaded, especially with the sustainability argument. Yet, in the weeks leading up to the referendum, opinion polls already showed that it would be a race too close for the comfort that the bid supporters were displaying instead of finding a good communication strategy against the bid opponents' - sometimes very valid - arguments.

Looking back after all these years, I think the crucial error was however the scheduling of the referendum. In September 2013, there were federal elections in Germany, in October, there were state elections in Bavaria, so by the time the bid vote came along, it was the third time in less than two months that people were asked to go to the poll. Unsurprisingly, the turnout was low - I think it was so low that theoretically, politicians could have even ignored the outcome as non-biding. As always in such referendums (not only when it comes to Olympic bids), the naysayers (who also had some good arguments here, let's be fair!) could use a low turnout to their advantage.

Remember, the bid as such was not a hot potato politically as most major parties were fully behind it. Yet, a conscious decision was made not to hold the referendum at the same time as the Bavarian elections. Frequently, such votes are combined, but it was not done here. The Bavarian election had a much stronger turnout, and if the bid referendum had been held there and then as well, I'm quite sure it would have got sufficient approval. In the end, DOSB would have put Munich forward and while Oslo would have given it a good run for the money (with Beijing being courted by some dubious IOC members as well), I think the fact that Germany was waiting already for so long for an Olympics and Munich would quite easily have been able to organise them reliably, we would now be looking forward to Winter Games in a much different atmosphere (they'd probably have been rescheduled to 2023 because of the pandemic, though).

Long read, I know, just wanted to share some thoughts that went through my head today.

Interesting retrospect. I was surprised that the referendum was not held alongside an existing state or national election (this is usually done in the U.S. when someone wants a new stadium or arena funding). I`ll bring up two questions. Do you think even if it was held during the Bavarian elections, that the folks in Garmisch would've voted yes because from my understanding there's a lot of anti-Olympic sentiment there especially in connection with environmental issues. The other factor is one that I raised in another thread regarding the no Olympics movement in general and that is much of it arose out of the Great Recession with people suddenly becoming more concious of what their tax money was being spent on. Was Germany hit as hard during the recession as other parts of Europe? If so, my this have had a negative bearing on the Munich bid?

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3 hours ago, stryker said:

Interesting retrospect. I was surprised that the referendum was not held alongside an existing state or national election (this is usually done in the U.S. when someone wants a new stadium or arena funding). I`ll bring up two questions. Do you think even if it was held during the Bavarian elections, that the folks in Garmisch would've voted yes because from my understanding there's a lot of anti-Olympic sentiment there especially in connection with environmental issues. The other factor is one that I raised in another thread regarding the no Olympics movement in general and that is much of it arose out of the Great Recession with people suddenly becoming more concious of what their tax money was being spent on. Was Germany hit as hard during the recession as other parts of Europe? If so, my this have had a negative bearing on the Munich bid?

Thanks!

Q1: A higher turnout together with the elections would probably have helped as especially more conservative voters who just always vote along with what their party says would have been there. There was a referendum in Garmisch only prior to the 2018 bid, and it was quite narrow, held standalone as well. So with more turnout, the 2022 vote could have been swung as well, It also was locally a lot not only about environmental issues but also about land owners not willing to sell/give permission to use their land.

Q2: Germany came out of the whole crisis almost unscathed. Munich was and still is one of Germany‘s wealthiest cities. Of course, not wanting to throw money after the IOC was a major argument, but in the sense of „let‘s do sth else with it“, not „we don‘t have any money“.

 

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Another query. I have never understood how the Munich bid was never able to leverage Thomas Bach's influence the way that Barcelona was able to do the same with JAS. Did Bach have that bad if a reputation within Germany?

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Simply as I wrote above: Bach‘s leverage was only about himself and his quest to become IOC President. 
 

When he had achieved that, he had no motivation to support Munich, pretending to be neutral. There was also no nationwide pride when he got elected. He was already seen as a career man who had dubious contacts and was once a JAS protegee. 

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  • 1 month later...

I wonder if Berliners and Munichers have in large numbers supported the idea of again hosting the Olympic summer games?

1972 had what appeared to be a fancy layout for the games. A park-like setting with a stadium covered by a partial glass-type canopy. That to me was one of the more memorable track-and-field venues of any games over the past 100 years.

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