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Sir Rols

Melbourne - Sports Capital Of The World

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You say "IOC" choosing a city based on landmarks etc etc - I can tell you that Cities are chosen about the political race that is completed behind the scenes of the IOC and it has NOTHING to do with the status of the city.

Ranking - Capitals - World Importance - etc etc etc is all irrelevant when a city is selected to be host of an Olympic Games.

But there's lots of evidence/ history to suggest what city a country puts forward to the IOC does make a huge difference. Candidate city is very important. The IOC (at the moment) don't want places like Valencia, Osaka and Nashville, they are after big name cities.

Lets have a look at the following cases:

* UK- Manchester 96/ 00, Birmingham 92 were rejected, London won 2012.

* Australia- Brisbane 92, Melbourne 96 were rejected, Sydney won 2012.

* France- Lille 04 was not shortlisted, Paris finished 3rd in 2008 race, 2nd in 2012 race.

* Spain- Seville was not shortlisted for 2004 and 2008, Madrid featured very strongly in the 2012 race.

* Russia- St.Petersburg was not shortlisted for 2004, Moscow was shortlisted for 2012

* Germany- leipzig was not shortlisted for 2012, Berlin was shortlisted for 2000.

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Birmingham. Your kidding. The city would struggle to make an impact on a Commonwealth Bid. Redeveloped cricket ground anyone?

You know that once 2012 has passed England’s next host will be, you guessed it, London, in another 40 years time.

Lets understand one thing- after 2012 the UK will not be hosting a summer olympics until around 2080-2100.

With regards to Birmingham not having an existing athletics stadium, aquatics centre, veldrome etc- this is definetely not a weakness.

If/ when Birmingham bids for the summer olympics again (which will not be for a long time, given London is hosting 2012), it will be able to offer brand new facilties to the IOC, which will be at up-to-date with the advanced technology that will exist at that time, rather than offering tired 30-40 year old facilities.

The bid will have great legacy. (just like London's 2012 bid).

The "here's our 30 year old national stadium, we'll give it a lick of paint and replace a few broken chairs, and it'll be ready," approach does not excite IOC members.

Having existing stadiums etc, is not a huge advantage. Paris' "up and running" Stade De France, with a "great proven track record," did not win them an olympic bid.

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You say this, but with no substance. I see no evidence of a city such as Birmingham achieving anything special in the distant future (example; economic boom, developing to a world tourist destination). What makes you think Birmingham will be able to offer such facilities, remembering that other competing bidding cities will probably be in the same boat.

Any city can prove a legacy. Have you had a look at the Gamesbids Events and Meetings section lately?

Although new facilities may appeal more to the IOC, it is not something, in my view, that would change entire votes, or at that, an entire election result.

Finally, just because a facility was constructed several years, or decades, ago, does not necessarily make it less appealing then a new facility. The reason why the facility would be still in use after extended periods of time is that it is likely up to date with standards, if not seating new ones. Redevelopment is necessarily a bad thing as apposed to creating new facilities. Venues such as Old Trafford for example, in my view is on the same level as the City of Manchester Stadium despite being many years older.

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True, but I think the big difference (as proved in the 2012 race) is rather than having an existing stadium which is adequate for athletics, instead offer a brand new purpose built athletics facility.

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Obviously if the venue is specially built it holds an advantage. In the case of the Stade De France your probably correct. But its not something a see turning an entire bid. History shows us that 9 times out of 10, bid cities go with new venues if the existing one doesnt really suit.

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You say this, but with no substance. I see no evidence of a city such as Birmingham achieving anything special in the distant future (example; economic boom, developing to a world tourist destination). What makes you think Birmingham will be able to offer such facilities, remembering that other competing bidding cities will probably be in the same boat.

Correct - Unlike places such as Shanghai and Dubai (which are coming up really fast), Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow will NOT be achieving great things.

That's why i said that the UK (after London 2012) won't be hosting a summer games for a long time- 2080-2100. Because places like Bham, manchester, glasgow do NOT have the international status to compete with other cites, and there's no justification for a 4th London olympics, not when 2 continents have never hosted along with countries like India, Malaysia, Thailand, the middle east region as a whole.

But the same can be said about Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth - are they going to achieve great things in the near future? World financial centre? Busiest airport in the world? Busiest port in the world? Headquarters of World bank, UN etc? I doubt it. Will the Victorian Arts Spire and Flinders station be as world famous as the Eiffel Tower or Taj mahal within 20-30 years? I doubt it.

Yes- Australia will host a 3rd summer olympics, before the UK hosts a 4th.

But in 30-40 years time Melbourne and Brisbane will still be Australia's no.2 and no.3 cities. I do not believe that these cities will have overtaken Sydney, let alone be up there with places like New York, London, Paris, Hong kong etc.

At the moment, internationally so far as Australia is concerned, Sydney is everything. When people think of Australia they think of Sydney, pictures of the Opera House, Harbour bridge, Bondi beach, fireworks display come to mind. The country's image revolves around Sydney (just like the UK's revolves around London). It will take a very long time for this image to change and be altered.

I doubt this is going to happen within the next 50 years. Even if Melbourne hosts the summer olympics and world cup final- we need to asks ourselves the questions- has Atlanta overtaken New York? Is Yokohama up there with Tokyo?

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Once again i must press that i, like many, never mentioned anything of Birmingham, Liverpool, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne etc being World Bank Centre's, or at that no1 tier cities. These kind of cities will amount to little in comparison to others. Your right in that regard. Brisbane has seen a Commonwealths, Rugby World Cup, Cricket World Cup and World's Fair, yet still doesnt rate up their with Sydney. However this doesnt make it any less of a sporting city then the city on the harbour. In many regards, Brisbane is a bigger sports city then Sydney (in my view at least). And this is what the topic is about isnt it?

However, just becuase it is not a world finance or tourist capital, doesnt prevent it from being labelled as the world's premier sports city (Melbourne that is).

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For me, there are 2 very important words to a summer olympic bid- "some" and "future."

"Some" because, it's important for a bidding city to have some experience of organising events- London for example hosts Wimbledon and London Marathon every year. There should be some existing venues and infrastructure - the Millennium dome for gymnastics, Wembley for football, The Oval for softball (when it was still included in the olympics), wimbledon tennis courts for the tennis competition.

Over- emphasis should not be made on number of existing venues and number of events the city has already hosted.

The bid must have a futuristic slant to it. It must concentrate on the future and how hosting the olympics will produce new venues and improve areas of social deprivation. Legacy is important.

The bid should not concentrate on the past too much and trying to emulate former glories, and talking too much about how this venue hosted this event in 1999 etc...

The olympics must not look like a "Plan B" event for the city (eg. KL after hosting 2008 CG's, Paris after hosting 1998 world cup and 2003 athletics). It should be the other way round eg. Barcelona using an olympic venue to bid for the 2013 athletics.

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It's not as far-fetched as that by any means. Birmingham are better placed than many places. The key to it is the stadium, but there are already plenty of facilities in place.

True. If in the future Birmingham was to bid, then it would most definetly be a decent bid. It would not be chaotic/ shambolic by any means.

Existing facilities and previous hosting experience is not that important (as i've stated many, many times), but if we were to consider these 2 things, then Birmingham hasn't done too badly.

It has hosted many indoor sporting events, along with important conferences:

- 1991 IOC congress (to pick 1998 winter candidate)

- 1993 World Gymnastic Championships (at the NEC)

- 1995 World figure skating championships

- 1998 G8 summit (attended by people like Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Jacques Chirac, Tony Blair)

- 1998 Eurovision song contest

- 2003 IAAF World Indoor Athletics

- 2004 World Gymnastic championships (this time at the NIA)

- 2007 European Indoor athletics championships

- 2010 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships

In terms of existing facilities:

- The NIA (13,000 capacity)

- The ICC (11 halls - some can seat 3000 people maximum)

- The NEC (21 halls- largest can seat 12,000 people)

- Villa Park (soon to be extended to 51,000- would host football finals) Hosted Euro 1996 semi-final.

- (Edgbaston Cricket Ground and Alexander stadium probably wouldn't feature in the bid)

Birmingham is the UK's transport hub so far as train and coach travel are concerned.

The majority of the facilities would be brand new- athletic stadium, velodrome, aquatics centre. They would be built near to NEC and Birmingham Airport, which would be advantageous in terms of transport for athletes. It also takes about 15 minutes to get from downtown Birmingham (where the NIA and ICC are located) to the Airport and NEC which are served by the same train station. Or they would be built in saltley, where Birmingham city football club is going to build their 55,000 football/ athletics/ cricket ground.

Only problem is that the UK won't be hosting another summer games until like 2080-2100. So there's no point in building facilties now, which will be 50 years old when you come to bid.

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Manchester would probably rank above Birmingham

Depends on if we're talking domestically or internationally.

Domestically, most people in the country (apart from those living in the Manchester area of course) would say Birmingham is England's 2nd city (the UK's 2nd city is Edinburgh).

Internationally however- Manchester definetely has more status than Birmingham. This is due to the fact it is the home of Manchester United Football team- one of the most famous/ well-known football team in the world. It has nothing to do with the fact that Manchester hosted the 2002 commonwealth games. If that was the case then Victoria, Canada would be more world famous than Toronto and Montreal.

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Finally, just because a facility was constructed several years, or decades, ago, does not necessarily make it less appealing then a new facility. The reason why the facility would be still in use after extended periods of time is that it is likely up to date with standards, if not seating new ones. Redevelopment is necessarily a bad thing as apposed to creating new facilities. Venues such as Old Trafford for example, in my view is on the same level as the City of Manchester Stadium despite being many years older.

But the clear trend in recent history is for new purpose-built facilities being a real positive for the IOC. If they were really impressed by existing venues, wouldn't Paris have won 2012?

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Only problem is that the UK won't be hosting another summer games until like 2080-2100. So there's no point in building facilties now, which will be 50 years old when you come to bid.

I would say sometime around 2050 would be the earliest realistic time to bid again.

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I would say sometime around 2050 would be the earliest realistic time to bid again.

Oh yeah, they will probably start to bid again even earlier than that, probably 2036-40. No doubt Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester will think about bidding around then.

Because once a country has hosted, they then start thinking "when can we host again?"

I mean after Barcelona 1992, Seville was bidding for 2004, which is really soon. Madrid 2012 was only 20 years after 1992. So far as the commonwealth games are concerned, Glasgow is bidding 12 years after Manchester 2002, and i'm sure that a number of Australian cities will be interested in 2018 commonwealth games- there may be bids from Adelaide, Canberra and the Gold Coast.

The UK can start to bid again for a SOG (I mean any country can bid whenever they want, Manchester could in theory bid for 2016 even!) but we can't expect to win for a long time though, being realistic. Lots of other cities/ countries around the world have more of a right to host a summer games before the UK is awarded a 4th games.

That's why we need to make the best out of London 2012, as this adult generation won't see another summer games in the UK.

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I don't see what the controversy is about. Melbourne has proven quite adept at putting on good sporting events. It may not be as world-renowned as Sydney, but it's in its own right as world-class as the next city. In addition, Melbourne has a multicultural population that rivals bigger cities like New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, and London.

(I also want to stress my opinion that Australia is both Asian and European, but at the same time neither. It is its own creation (the Aborigines have a culture that dates back to the dawn of mankind), and instead of it being forced to choose which sphere to align itself with, it should act as kind of a bridge between these conflicting interests.)

So, lay off Melbourne, y'all.

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I don't see what the controversy is about. Melbourne has proven quite adept at putting on good sporting events. It may not be as world-renowned as Sydney, but it's in its own right as world-class as the next city. In addition, Melbourne has a multicultural population that rivals bigger cities like New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, and London.

(I also want to stress my opinion that Australia is both Asian and European, but at the same time neither. It is its own creation (the Aborigines have a culture that dates back to the dawn of mankind), and instead of it being forced to choose which sphere to align itself with, it should act as kind of a bridge between these conflicting interests.)

So, lay off Melbourne, y'all.

Melbourne, Sydney are world class cities as many are through out the world . The problem for many suitors of international sport events is that countries are emerging that are raising the bar high. I think of Beijing and at the time of the awarding of the games you would say WHAT . Now it is a case that their infrasturcture improvements are going way beyond most olympic hosts. Shanghai I can see becoming a future olympic bid city, Seoul I can see trying again and then there is Tokyo who have not hosted the games in 42 years. The lowering the bar by jacques rogue to include africa and south america in near future hostings is also something that will delay the games getting back to europe, asia, north america and australia. Not that it is a bad thing at all. Cape Town and Rio I can see . Both considered world cities with exotic backdrops for topography . An aerial shot of an olympic venue in either cape town or rio would be very memorable. The closeness to the eastern time zone of the united states is a marketing advantage for american TV networks.

The united states and the shear wealth via tv and media is always a huge target for the IOC. China I beleive is on its way to emerge just as strong and powerful as the united states in that regard. It might sound foolish today but so did the idea of beijing hosting the games in the first place . World classed cities for countires are becoming like belly buttons everyone seems to have one . Who knows what the possible locations will be in the years to come.

If the US wanted it Hawaii would be incredible and will be in the middle of the two economic super powers. Halfway between China and the United States.

You also have something unique in that a true oceanic territory besides Australia hosts . Even though Australia but some is in the oceanic zone I consider it to be seperate in many ways from the south seas islands. I dont see the political will yet and why does hawaii need to promotion itself for tourism?? The same question could have been asked with greece hosting the 2004 and it cost 5.5 percent of their GDP. They didnt get anywheres near the investment in increased tourism before during or after the games. For a country that has a heavy tourism following they actually cut their numbers hosting the games. Of course that goes away with time and the improvements to the city are certainly worth it in their case.

It may be 40 years off for Hawaii but considering we may see brazil host before long and an african nation the possiblilty is there it is not outsdie possiblity . India is another place I could see as well. A Persian gulf country will host these games as well before long.

The competition is going beyond the developed world . All of europe is going to beckon as well. France and Italy havent hosted in a while for the summer games and I am sure they will be back to try to host again. Germany will not have hosted in 40 years as well with 2012 and it is doubtful a european canidate will host in 2016. I can see 2020 or 2024 it goes to europe . 8 to 12 years seems to be the norn between hostings for europe. Europe is the spoke in the wheel

but the length of time between european hosting may grow longer.

jim jones

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For those who don't want to read all of Jim's post, here is the crux of his argument:

World classed cities for countires are becoming like belly buttons everyone seems to have one

Nicely put ;)

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I am a PASSIONATE Melburnian. I believe this is the best city in the world. I know it isn't the most important city on the planet, but I will always call it home, even if I live overseas.

The thing about Melbourne is that it really isn't a world city. It's a world village. Some people might like the chaos of Tokyo or the 24-hour buzz of New York, but I love being able to walk along the beach at 1am, or walk around the city, or catch a train and feel completely safe and enjoy myself. I love being able to attend events like the Commonwealth Games or the Tennis or the footy. I love being able to sit in gardens 3 minutes from the CBD in peace and quiet, I love being able to go out to a club or a play; to have world-class galleries and museums, stunning countryside all around and friends from all over the world. I love meeting people under the clocks at flinders streets, mingly with punks and preppies, along with old tourists and young families. I love The Lounge on thursday nights, looking through the trees at the bustle of swanston street down below. I love trams, although I'm not a huge fan of the new ones. I'm a big fan of Willie and St. Kilda, Carlton, Prahran and Albert Park.

I know there are problems with Melbourne-there are problems with homelessness; there are endless plains of 1/4 acre blocks in one of the world's most boring suburbia's, and some areas are overly grungy and poor-although every city has that.

I don't plan to live in Melbourne my whole life, but it will always be home, because I know that the basic heart of Melbourne will always be the same-a city where everyone comes together, whether it's for the boxing day test or the boxing day sales. The heart of Melbourne is vibrant, friendly and fun, unthreatening, interesting, simple, exciting and most importantly, beating always with passion. It could be any kind of passion, but there is no question that when it comes to sports, Melbourne's passion is stronger than that of any other city, and that's what this survey was about.

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Oh, plus Melbourne is the capital of Asia-Pacific for live music, and probably one of the best in the world. Certainly the capital of Australia's music scene, which is only rivalled in the region by Japan and maybe India.

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Happy New Year to all. I am back after a very busy last three weeks. Well, I find it quite amusing that the topic seems to have continued so strongly. I have replied several times to this topic, not only because I am passionate about this city, but as I have described before, there are just so many things to look forward to. After being at the MCG on boxing day to watch Shane Warne take his 700th wicket, I looked around the chanting crowd and just took it all in. It was an amazing atmopshere, and one that just brought it home how lucky and spoiled we are in this city. As I took the train back home, I thought about the next few months. We are going to have the chance to see Rodger Federer and the top tennis players in a couple of weeks at the Australian Open. The warm up tournament at the old Australian open site of Kooyong is going to have the top 8 players alone. I mean it just doesn't get better than that. Then only a few weeks later, we will join the party at the F1 grand prix that will be hosted around the same time as the World Swimming Championships where the best will compete for the last time before the Beijing Olympics... and Grant Hackett will break the world record in the 1500 meters again. Then the greatest athletes in the world (according to me at least) the great Australian Rules footballers will take to the G and the Dome for the start of the Football season. I mean really, the Olympic Games may be about stadia and politics, but its heart is still sport... and if you want to see the best - not 2nd tier or third tier - the cream - just join us in Melbourne as we keep producing sporting highlights to remember. Oh, before I forget, I also feel lucky that I live in city where I can take my kids to a sporting event and not fear that some fanatic hooligans are going to hurt them... there are not many places in the world that you can say this.

I challenge anyone who can say they saw Shane Warne, Rodger Federer, Raphael Nadal, Alonso, Michael Phelps, Grant Hackett compete at the highest level in one place over 2-3 months. Oh and the beauty is that it continues every year, because most of these events are in Melbourne every year.

Live well, play sport, enjoy life... and if you are in Melbourne watch it live as well.

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I don't see what the controversy is about. Melbourne has proven quite adept at putting on good sporting events
The controversy is that what does this table represent? What conclusion can we pull from this? What have we learnt? The answer is = nothing.

Melbourne maybe at the top of this table/ list/ survey but this does not translate into power/ influence/ importance on the world stage. Suprisingly it does not even translate in importance in sporting world.

Important sporting bodies like the IOC, IAAF, FIFA, FINA do not have their headquarters in Melbourne. Important decisions like number of qualifying places for the world cup, number of sports in the summer/ winter olympics, numbers/ types of drug test to be used at world athletics events etc...are not decided in Melbourne. Even the International Cricket council is based in Dubai, rather than basing itself in the world's No.1 cricket nation, Australia.

Paris is no.2 on this list, London is no.5, but London was given the 2012 games, so hosting more sporting events does not win olympic bids, and give you more power/ importance in the sporting world.

Controversy no.3 is the way in which this table has been produced. It is from 2002-2010, which mean's it's partially prospective, rather than being retrospective, which is a downfall, given that some sporting events to be held in 2010, still haven't been allocated a host city.

Also, Sydney hosted the 2000 summer olympics- the no.1 sporting event in the world. This has probably not been included in the table, which is silly- it was only 6 years ago. Paris hosted the world cup final in 1998, the 2nd biggest sporting event- again this probably hasn't been included.

So the fact that Aarhus, Demark hosted the 2006 world gymnastics championships has been inculded, and given more credit than Sydney hosting the 2000 olympics- how crazy is that?

It may not be as world-renowned as Sydney, but it's in its own right as world-class as the next city

OK- I can understand that you feel patriotic about your home city and country- but you have to honest - Melbourne is definetly not up there with other cities around the world.

I'm sorry but the truth is that it's not even a match for places like Sydney, Singapore, Bangkok, so to say it's as world-class as places like New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Rome, is wrong.

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I need to "check" the news source again, but guess what? That so-called "best city to live in the world" junket is supposedly back in the news.

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The problem for many suitors of international sport events is that countries are emerging that are raising the bar high.

Exactly- just wait until Beijing's olympic facilties are complete. People around the world are going to be fascinated.

Beijing olympic stadium will put Melbourne's MGC to shame.

Beijing's "watercube" will put the MSAC (aquatics centre used in the 2006 commonwealth games) to shame.

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