2016 Olympic Candidate Cities Evaluated

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND: Most Olympic fans are gearing up for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, but for the International Olympic Committee the focus at the moment is on 2016.

The IOC released this morning its report of the Evaluation Commission for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. The report summarizes the findings of IOC visit to the four cities vying to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games--Chicago; Tokyo; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Madrid, Spain.

The candidate cities are listed by the IOC in the order they were drawn until a final selection is made during the 121st IOC Session on Oct. 2 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The report provides a technical analysis of each of the candidate city’s bids and preparations thus far.

While much of the report is devoted to details about the sporting venues, housing plans and security and transit logistics, each candidate city’s plans for the media are also outlined.

If Chicago hosts the games, the International Broadcast Center and Main Press Center will both be housed in the existing McCormick Place exhibition center. Near 840,000 square feet of space would be allocated to the IBC, and another nearly 700,000 square feet of flexible space would be available for the MPC.

If the Tokyo bid is successful, the IBC and MPC would be located at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center. More than 1 million square feet of space would be allocated for the IBC, some of which would be shared with the MPC. An additional 485,000 square foot expansion to the Tokyo Big Sight is planned to accommodate the MPC. Tokyo also has promised “a dedicated media transport system” and free access to public transit for accredited media during the Games.

In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro plans to build a new facility to house the IBC/MPC centrally located within the Olympic Park. The IBC would occupy more than 900,000 square feet of space next to the MPC, which would occupy nearly 600,000 square feet. As Rio plans to create a purpose-built press and broadcast media facility, the complex will “take account of new media requirements and technologies,” according to the report. A comprehensive shuttle bus system is planned for accredited media.

The Madrid bid also foresees a purpose-built facility for press during the 2016 Games. Two new pavilions would be constructed next to the IFEMA exhibition complex with more than 1 million square feet of space for the IBC and more than 750,000 square feet for the MPC. A dedicated bus system is planned for media transport, as are dedicated cars on high-speed trains connecting Madrid with co-host cities. The Madrid bid has events being held in Barcelona, Córdoba, Coslada, Getafe, Málaga, Mérida, Paracuellos de Jarama, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia.

All four bids have pledges to waive customs duties on equipment being imported for coverage of the Games.

Spain, Brazil and Japan all pledged to exempt foreign media and support staff from local labor laws for their time before, during and after the Games. The Chicago 2016 bid states that broadcasters will not be subject to specific taxes for broadcast work related to the Games, although the IOC did express concern about how the host Olympic Broadcasting Services organization would work with local labor unions. — T. Carter Ross

More from TVB on upcoming Olympics:
July 13, 2009: “U.S. Olympics Plans to Watch Cable Network”
The U.S. Olympic Committee threw in with the nation’s largest pay TV provider to launch a games-themed 24/7 cable network.

May 23, 2009
: “Broadcasters Will Pony $2.5 Billion for Olympics”
The IOC will have collected around $2.5 billion from broadcasters in the three years leading up to the Beijing Olympics.