As countries across the world face economic hardships associated with the cost of dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic, Brisbane has announced they will be putting a hold on their candidature for the hosting the 2032 games, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Saturday.
This announcement comes just days after Queensland federal MP Bob Katter, a member of the Australian House of Representatives, criticized the continued persuing of the Olympic bid.
“If it was a stupid idea to sink billions into a Brisbane Olympic games before COVID-19, then it is infinitely more stupid now. Should we spend the next decade restarting a manufacturing secort, commencing nation-building infrastructure, and getting Australians back to work? Or should we spend the next 10 years preparing for a two-week sporting event?”
This move was supported by Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates, who issued a statement stating that, in light of the current public health and community well-being issues, it was of greater importance to address those instead of focusing on the Olympic bid. Coates had previously been vocal in his support of continuing the Olympic bid, citing the number of jobs created as a way to lift the country from a potential post-COVID-19 depression.
Palaszczuk had previously argued for the benefits of presenting a bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), citing the 130,000 jobs that would be created by the event. She also believed it capable of bringing in over seven billion dollars in economic benefits to the Queensland economy.
A feasibility study completed by the state late last year predicted a total cost to the state of $5.3 billion, with that being reduced to only $900 million after IOC funds and domestic revenue are factored in. This estimated cost is lower than the approximately $1.2 billion cost of host the 2018 Commonwealth games. The predicted number didn’t include other costs associated with hosting the games, such as increased police presence and increased need for employees associated with the boom in air travel. The study ultimately concluded that it was an affordable investment for the state when benefits of the event were factored in.
There are currently 9 other cities in discussion for having bids for hosting the games including Jakarta, Indonesia, who announced last month they would continue to pursue a bid until at least December. The other cities currently considering entering bids for the 2032 games are: Seoul-Pyongyang, Korea; North-Central Italy; London, England; Madrid, Spain; Rhine, Germany; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Kiev, Ukraine and Minsk, Belarus (shared between the two countries).