Until a few weeks ago Rome looked as the most serious contender for the 2020 Olympic Games. And the decision to play the Winter Olympic Games of 2018 in South Korea gave a further confirmation that the Eternal city was the candidate n.1 for the 32nd Olympiad since no consecutive games have been played in the same continent.
But within a few days two more cities made their bid official: Tokyo and Istanbul. It was early July.
There are now only 48 hours left to submit a candidacy for 2020 as September 1 is the deadline. And Rome, Tokyo and Istanbul appear by far the best options for next decade’s Olympic Games.
Is Rome still in pole position? We will only know in two years. On September 7, 2013 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will have to make its mind. According to the bookmakers it is still the most likely to win the bid.
Before the mid-August budget, Rome was supposed to have 4 billion euros for the event. But the money needed to organize the Olympic Games in Italy’s capital is much more: around 12,7 billion euros – 2,2 for the games as such and 10,5 for the infrastructures. Quite a daunting challenge for a cash-strapped city and a nearly broke country!
So why does Rome local Olympic Committee think our city is such a strong candidate? Besides the Asian Winter Games of 2018 there are some other, more sport-related reasons. The first is that Rome hosted a very successful 1960 edition of the Olympiads and that since then Italy has not been chosen for any other (summer) Olympic Games. The second is that most of the sport facilites are already there. There would be relatively little stuff to build and therefore in such difficult times for the world’s finances, Rome seems a realistic and viable solution.
What would it mean for the city? Well it will mean more employment of course – more than a 100,000 new jobs would be created – more sport infrastructures and especially more public transport. Maybe the money for line C of the underground would finally come out as well as those for line D. It would also help to attract a broader range of tourists: those who wouldn’t normally come to Rome because not particularly interested in archeologic, religious or artistic travels.
Let’s give a look to the other major contenders. Tokyo is a very strong candidate since giving Japan the 2020 games would mean that the whole world wants to reward the heroic effort of the Japanese people out of the recent earthquake and tsunami. It would have a highly symbolic value that we all understand and agree with.
The third best candidate in our opinion is Istanbul. Even if this city is not so much considered by bookmakers we think that the recent developments especially in the Mediterranean speak for a bigger Turkish role at all levels. Ankara has become a major player of the Arabic spring Revolutions and is engaged in finding a way-out of the Libyan and Syrian wars, while also taking a proactive approach towards other muslim countries such as Somalia. It is more and more a pivotal state and we are sure it will use all its geo-political weight at the 2013’s IOC meeting.