Robert Cain

Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Creating Games Worth Bidding For

Until recently a heavily contested process, the International Olympic Committee has run into difficulty attracting qualified cities willing to host the Olympic Games. Since the 2008 global financial crisis, twelves cities have withdrawn bids due to local referendums or pressure from local groups over the rising costs of hosting the Games or a desire to spend public funds elsewhere. This has left only two candidates remaining by the time the vote was held in the last three award cycles, and three candidates the two cycles prior. In response, the IOC has created a new process focused on working with cities, regions, and even nations to develop host bids which are in line with ongoing policy and development goals, and which will leave a positive legacy after the Games. Using the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London as a model, I examine whether these changes will be sufficient to deliver the IOC the host cities it is looking for; in short, whether such cities are likely to find the new process worth their time and money.

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