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Permanent Home for the Olympic Games


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22 hours ago, Lord David said:

Make it a week longer to increase viability and give more flexibility (especially to the additional sports added for 2020) and lower the capacity requirements for venues.

While, as an Oly fan, I'd love the idea of a longer games, I'm not sure what it would do to ease the strain on the city. If anything, it might make it all that bit harder for a host city to extend demand on its services and infrastructure another week.

otherwise, your remains suggestions were quite sensible.

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On 13 août 2016 at 0:04 AM, Sir Rols said:

The IOC shoud have been more insistent with the Koreans about using the Nagano bobsled course for 2018. They should have insisted on setting the precedent and setting the example.

This remains for me the oddest thing the IOC has done in recent years. The construction of the track had started, and knowing the relationship between Korea and Japan, this was really showing total disregard of regional realities. The only explanation I can have is that IOC was trying to exonerate themselves by making this proposal, knowing that it would not be accepted, but allowing them to say they had tried something.

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14 hours ago, Sir Rols said:

While, as an Oly fan, I'd love the idea of a longer games, I'm not sure what it would do to ease the strain on the city. If anything, it might make it all that bit harder for a host city to extend demand on its services and infrastructure another week.

otherwise, your remains suggestions were quite sensible.

This issue has been discussed before but I can't find the thread. Like you I would love to see a longer games but there must be a reason why they last only two weeks. The handling of organization during the games must be a very demanding 24 hour job. The logistics, security etc. place a very big burden on the host city and wouldn't be any less even if the amount of simultaneous events would slightly decrease. I don't know if the media companies would like to dedicate themselves to the games for one more week either.

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I think the best solution is to have a smaller list of core sports. Instead of the 37 or more events they have now. I think by differentiating the sporting program from Olympics to Olympics you can change the nature of each edition more. 

I think a great example of this would have been London 2012. You had the 26 sports, plus you could have easily had golf at St. Georges, rugby 7's and twickenham and twenty20 at Lord's. You would have had 3 high ticket availability events that would have sold well, attracted Indians and brought in the British legacy in sport. I think they went to an extreme for Tokyo. Adding karate, baseball and softball would have been enough.

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The permanent home solution is an attractive one, especially if the Summer Games hub were somehow based at the OAKA in Athens. It would provide an impetus for renovating and refurbishing (and subsequently, properly maintaining) the Olympic facilities falling into disuse there. The upkeep could be paid for by governments and NOCs, as well as the IOC. That said, jingoistic sentiment and narrow-mindedness is unlikely to let that fly. So, on to the approach that is most likely to work, in my view:

  • Determine the core number of sports at 20 and permit every host to select 5 sports (preferably ones suited to the Host Nation's needs); that should include the current candidates for inclusion in the Olympic Programme (like T20 cricket and squash); this 20+5 formula will give leeway to Host Cities, permit them to exert some control over the planning of the Olympic Games and give a more local flavour to the entire event
  • Reduce the capacity requirements for stadiums; why not just have an Olympic Stadium capacity with a range of 45,000-60,000; if a convincing case can be made from a financial viability perspective for a higher number, then the IOC can expressly permit a higher number (for example, if the Olympics take place in a major metropolitan area);
  • Share the TV and sponsorship revenues with the Host Cities and the National Olympic Committee concerned
  • Submit to income, corporate and sales taxes like everyone in the Host Country - that will neutralize the most powerful line of attack against the Olympics
  • Take a very hard look at the disciplines: If these are supposed to a games for the entire planet, what point was it to have baseball in the 2004 Athens programme? Is it really necessary to have so many swimming events? Have fewer events and confer greater value (and monetization) to them.
  • Confine the closing ceremony to an absolute formal minimum, not exceeding 1 or 1.5 hours. Closing ceremonies have turned out to be boring cousins of the much more impressive opening ceremonies anyway - and in recent years have just dissolved into self-referencing celebrations without much of a point, really.
  • Ensure that tickets for the Olympic Games can be bought by normal people, not just wealthy people in the Host Country and Olympics enthusiasts from Western industrialized nations like ourselves; the empty stadiums in Brazil are an utter embarrassment and cannot be explained by anything other than the (for Brazilian cost-of-living, purchasing power and socioeconomic indices) astronomical ticketing
  • Play a far more active role in supporting all those developing country NOCs. Reduce funding for developed country NOCs. For example, there is no need for the USOC receiving $185.9 million from broadcasting rights. The United States is a developed country, just like Germany, just like Britain. Yes, even interfere with their internal functioning where necessary. If this is supposed to be a global movement, act like it. Have more women in the IOC. Make the IOC an elected, instead of a self-perpetuating and self-selecting body.
  • Make distribution of any funds to the International Federations contingent on full compliance and follow-through with rigorous anti-doping standards and disqualification of drugs cheats; exclude any and all NOCs failing to make credible & substantive efforts to comply with common anti-doping standards recommended by WADA
  • Impose automatic, strict-liability lifetime bans on any and every athlete found to have cheated; no Gaitlin, no Efimova - done and dusted
  • Stop recognizing or measuring world records. It's this hunt for world records that has fuelled a lot of the doping going around. The minute this stops and it just becomes about who is the fastest, smartest, most agile - rather than the one who can pulverize a previous record - the incentive for doping decreases substantially
  • Exercise strict quality control. Do not stand for last-minute, on-the-dot performance. Expect proper execution of venue and infrastructure delivery in time - otherwise threaten and, if need be, carry out threat to deselect & replace with an emergency Host City. Sponsors, corporate supporters, sporting professionals, athletes and even the wider public rightly expect some bang for their buck. So no, olive-green pools, insecure venues, horrific air quality, problematic venues, bacteria-infested open-water venues, faulty Olympic Village rooms and so on must be deemed utterly unacceptable.
  • Ban athletes from competing in more than two events of their sport. Impose a two-edition limit on all athletes. Someone who hasn't made it in their late 20s is unlikely to win past their peak anywayHarsh, but true: It gets old pretty fast for casual sports-watchers if the same athlete wins all the time
  • Enhance WADA's powers to name, shame and exclude doping offenders - make compliance with WADA rules and decisions mandatory for Olympic Games participation at national and individual level; make appeals to the CAS right before and during a Games edition much harder and dependent on reasonable doubt and high probability that the evidence presented is substantially faulty to justify an appeal; have one recent athlete on each of the CAS panels
  • Enable athletes to move into the Olympic Village a month in advance and carry out rigorous drugs-testing
  • Don't hand broadcasting rights to one network per country, but consortiums - that way, one network will have less bargaining power. The Olympic Games IS the greatest spectacle in the world, and the media will keep coming, as long as the IOC throws fresh meat; insist on live broadcasts of the ceremonies and key events in every country: make the games truly global.

I know that much of this won't happen under a Bach presidency. That said, I wanted to throw this out there to stimulate discussion - hope I will do so!

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17 hours ago, plusbrilliantsexploits said:
  • Share the TV and sponsorship revenues with the Host Cities and the National Olympic Committee concerned
 

It has been for a long time.  In the 1980s and 1990s, the host cities would get 1/3rd of the broadcast revenues to help offset the staging costs.  I think that with each Games bringing in at least US$2.5 billion per Games--and the IOC's demand for first class everything, I think they now give 45-55% to the host cities.  I hope that should go up to more like 65%.  There is some similar formula with revenues from the TOP sponsors.  

And I find it only fair that something like the USOC gets at least 10-12% of broadcast sales for the US since the USOC does NOT get any funding from our gov't.  Without the USOC shepherding and grooming the star athletes, you wouldn;t have the glory stories that are the meat of the NBC Olympic coverages.   

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I think I have mentioned it before. There are many new sports that well could be in the Olympics (Bowling, Billard, Snooker, Squash, beachhandball, beachsoccer etc.. But it is getting to big for most cities. Get the games to be in 2 cities. And let them bid together. Lets have perhaps a total of 12-13.000 athletes, but with 6-7.000 in each city. But it should not be in the same time! The media cant handle so much more things at once. So let it be 2 weeks in late may/early june, and 2 weeks late july/early august. Then make it up to those 2 cities in there joint bid to split the sports between them. Let´s say that Hamburg and Budapest for an excample went together. Then every 4. years it wouldn´t be the same sports at the early or late games. But the international calendar can be placed 7 years before when the 2 host are selected, and the different sports are there placed. The media has time to recover between the two summer games etc.

So in 2028 we could have Athletic and basketball, and gymnastics in the same city, but perhaps in 2032, basketball is not in the same city as athletic. It should be completely up to the 2 bid cities in there joined bid to decide where what is, to insure use of existing venues and local interest in the sports. And who says it should be in the same continent? It could also be Denmark and Copenhagen and Brisbane in Australia. But I believe it would reduce costs, and let more sports get in to the Olympic zone... And i actually don´t think it will loose the charm so much. Because it will still be big for each city respectively. And it would still be an Olympic medals for the athletes, and the medaltable is of course a joint one for both cities so it is possible to compare each Olympic year.

It would mean lower venue cost for each city. Need for smaller Olympic village and probably more likely to get public backing in the city and country, because it would be smaller.

But unfortunately I don´t decide :)

Regards
Hans from Denmark 

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On 7/27/2016 at 8:15 AM, kevzz said:

Read this article in the Guardian today - that the most worrying sign threatening the future of the Olympic movement is not the doping scandal but whether does anyone really want to host the Games anymore?

Considering that there are there are four quality cities battling it out to host 2024, I don't buy the whole premise. The summer games aren't broken. A tweek here and there an making sure things don't get worse are what's needed. Not major change. 

The WOG may be a different story. 

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Coubertin's position was that a permanent home for the Olympics was too large a risk for the Olympics, because you cannot guarantee the political stability of any area in the world over a period of many decades. Rotating them allows to always find a safe place. Of course you have the case of World Wars, but Coubertin was considering World Wars could not last more than one or two Olympiads, and the Olympiad would not be celebrated (like 1916).

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On August 14, 2016 at 7:05 AM, reindeer said:

This issue has been discussed before but I can't find the thread. Like you I would love to see a longer games but there must be a reason why they last only two weeks. The handling of organization during the games must be a very demanding 24 hour job. The logistics, security etc. place a very big burden on the host city and wouldn't be any less even if the amount of simultaneous events would slightly decrease. I don't know if the media companies would like to dedicate themselves to the games for one more week either.

 

I think it would be a great idea to make the Olympic schedule flexible according to the host city up to 4 weeks. It would alleviate the need for multiple venues especially when they need to be constructed from ground up. There's 2 aquatic stadiums in Rio's Olympic park, which is unnecessary since water polo can be played in the same pool as the swimming events, but due to lack of time within the 2 week Olympics window is why there's 2 separate venues I'm guessing? 

With a 4 week schedule you'd have plenty of time to use the same venues for multiple sports. Besides the sports that require their own facilities such as equestrian, bmx cycling, beach volleyball, canoe slalom, etc. which are mostly outdoors and temporary, sports that require more permanent facilities can be shared when split into two separate rotations.

Instead of week 1 and week 2, the schedule should say first half and second half so it can be split from up to 3 or 4 weeks. Gymnastics can have first half and basketball can have second half using the same arena, so can indoor volleyball and handball, swimming and water polo, even the velodrome can use their center field for the lesser attended sports in separate halves. 

I think any strain on a host city with the extended schedule is naturally offset because the events are more dispersed (time wise). This would also prevent a lot of white elephants. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know this is not the question here. But I would like to share some thoughts. I think there's no room to ask  whether Rio de Janeiro was successful in hosting the Games or not. The answer was given: there were problems (as in every previous editions) but the result was positive. 
I remember the months and weeks prior to the Games. Newspapers all around the world predicted a catastrophe in Rio:  Zika virus was an invincible threat; the facilities would not be ready; the domestic political crisis would exacerbate the financial crisis which, in its turn, would make it impossible to carry out much of what was planned; the terror threat was a shadow hanging over the Games; the public transportation infrastructure would not meet the demand. None of this was confirmed. The problems we could see were not large-scale ones when compared with the pessimistic forecasts.
In my view, the challenge that arises now is another. Are the Games sustainable, in the way they have been planned? Is there the possibility of continuing to organize them in the same way they have been done? The dimension of Games needs to be revised. No city in the world will be able to meet the ever increasing demands of logistics, for example. During the Games, I had the opportunity to talk to people from different countries. The vast majority of them - including people from Paris, Rome, Boston and Los Angeles - is convinced that their cities will face serious problems with high costs to host the SOG circus. Cost have risen too much, they said. Despite the enchantment with the possibility of hosting the Games, they people recognize that the burden can be too heavy and they do not see a healthy accounting relationship between costs and benefits in hosting the Games.
Of course, Rio’s parallel investments were higher than they would have been in those cities I mentioned, since Rio de Janeiro was a way deficient in its infrastructure. But yet, undoubtedly,no matter where they take place, the Games will demand billions and billions from the coffers of the hosting cities.
I do not know which shape  the Games should take. The Japanese people will certainly face this problem. And I think they will be able, at least, to indicate which paths are not to follow.
Good Luck, Tokyo! Good luck, Olympics!

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The games are leaving Rio with a new port area, light rail and metro line. To me, the long term use of these will determine, from a host city standpoint, the success or not of the games. What will the port area be like in five years, in ten? Thriving? Or a reversion to what it was.

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2 hours ago, zekekelso said:

The games are leaving Rio with a new port area, light rail and metro line. To me, the long term use of these will determine, from a host city standpoint, the success or not of the games. What will the port area be like in five years, in ten? Thriving? Or a reversion to what it was.

Exactly.  It's way too early to pass judgment on Rio as to whether or not these Olympics were a success.  Think about Athens just a week after their Olympics were over.  Now think about it a year or a decade later and decide whether or not it was successful.

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  • 1 year later...

The Greeks had one home for their Olympic games.  One home for the summer and the winter games makes sense.  Records would be more relevant, facilities would be state of the art and constantly monitored and improved and during off years, what a spectacular training facility the permanent location could be for all potential athletes.  The permanent site could also host other sporting events thus keeping hotels and restaurants busy year round.  Initially, there would be squabbling as to which nation might be the permanent host, but maybe it's fairly obvious.  Let Greece host the summer games.  It is their ancient home.  Give the winter games to neutral Switzerland.  It may be one of the last regions to fall victim to climate change and its Alpine backdrop and non-threatening world status make it the Olympic ideal.

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17 hours ago, Trylon said:

The Greeks had one home for their Olympic games.  One home for the summer and the winter games makes sense.  Records would be more relevant, facilities would be state of the art and constantly monitored and improved and during off years, what a spectacular training facility the permanent location could be for all potential athletes.  The permanent site could also host other sporting events thus keeping hotels and restaurants busy year round.  Initially, there would be squabbling as to which nation might be the permanent host, but maybe it's fairly obvious.  Let Greece host the summer games.  It is their ancient home.  Give the winter games to neutral Switzerland.  It may be one of the last regions to fall victim to climate change and its Alpine backdrop and non-threatening world status make it the Olympic ideal.

Normally I would explain all the things that are wrong with this.  But I'll go with the simpler route that Rols just did.

No.  Just.. no

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It's kind of just boring to just run up the flag in the same spot over and over. The fun part was going all around the world, and of course lots of problem and the IOC is the BIGGEST PROBLEM. But holding it in the same city forever would kill most of the fun, adventure, romanticism, etc etc.

 

And what if that cities "millennial-type generation"  one year decided to go on a #metoo, #blm, or #noolympics tear and put up a referendum to kick them out. Would be fun to watch but I just don't think the IOC should be permanently forced on anyone.

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It would kill interest around the world, especially those out of the time zone.  No one wants to go to the same place over and over again, and no one wants to see the same backdrop on tv over and over again.  The Olympics captures the attention of the world because of the global romanticism mentioned above, not just because of the sporting competition.  The IOC is better off just downsizing the the Olympics and ensuring they are distributed around the world. 

And why would Switzerland be the ideal backdrop for the Winter Games?  They didn't found the Olympics.  They're just another regular country, like everyone else.

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...it would be funny to see them over and over in Pyongchang, so we could see Lindsey Von (in full coverage makeup) choke year and year then cry and blame internet haters, then try to string a weak narrative together about her grandfathers death and his close connection to Korea because he was in the war and his dream was to see her win in PC???? ummmm OK girl...whatever.

I guess I started hating her that time I saw her in the grocery store in Aspen and she was a total bitch to everyone, I mean everybody there was richer than her and she was prancing around in some ridiculous pink satin puffer throwing shade and resting bitch face...her ass looked really fat by the way......and then she was actually acting pissed to have to go on line to buy her bread and yogurt. She is trash.

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10 hours ago, Trylon said:

It must be remarkably wonderful to be so correct, so certain your own infallibility.  You have an opinion, then just state it without hammering  the writer with whom you disagree.  Normally, I'd ignore your arrogant comments. 

No.  Just...no.

Did you think your suggestion through?  The idea of a permanent host has been bandied about before, certainly on this forum.  But as baron noted, it's very impractical.  Okay, so let's delve into this a little further.

First off, you start by saying the Greeks had one home for their Olympics.  That's because the Olympics were largely theirs and theirs alone.  They didn't belong to the world like they do now.  Either way, perhaps we shouldn't be looking to 2800 years ago for precedent as to how to go about things in the 21st century.

You say facilities would be state of the art.  How did that work out for Greece when they hosted the 2004 Olympics?  It takes a lot of money to build these facilities in the first place.  It requires even more money to be kept in top shape from year to year, and if they're not being used for much else aside from the Olympics, then that seems like a bad waste of resources.

You mention training facilities.  If I'm a runner or a swimmer, I don't need to fly to a central location to train.  I can get those facilities closer to home, and it's not like you can expect a sport's entire pool of athletes to all go to the same location.  Winter sports are a little more specialized, so the benefit of a single location would be different.  But even still, there are now world class facilities on every continent.  Athletes need not travel thousands of miles to find one.

Beyond all that, what about athlete and media housing?  That's often the toughest element of an Olympics, especially the Summer Olympics.  LA is about the only city in the world that seems to be able to offer a unique solution to that.  But at the same time, they also require expensive overlays to host athletics and swimming, 2 of the Games' marquee sports.  So they wouldn't necessarily be the best choice for a permanent host.

And lastly, as Gangwon pointed out, this will kill interest in the Olympics around the world if it belonged only to 1 country.  If we're getting the same experience every 4 years, then the event no longer belongs to the entire world.  Not to mention the burden you're placing on that city to spend billions of dollars on things like security, expenses that will be necessary every 4 years regardless of how little in terms of infrastructure needs to be added.

It's understandable to look for solutions to the IOC's issues of increasing costs and the lack of enthusiasm for potential host cities to offer themselves up.  A permanent host is not the solution though, let alone to put it in Greece, a country with a massive amount of debt that shouldn't deal with the additional burden of hosting every Olympics, especially given the aftermath of their 2004 Games (which are certainly not responsible for, but definitely contributed a small piece of their financial woes). 

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