The German Olympic Sports Confederation’s (DOSB) Executive Board has unanimously declared its wish to bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, and possibly also for the 2028 games. The decision will be placed before the Confederation’s members on 6 December at the General Meeting in Dresden.
The board also agreed on a bid timetable. An extraordinary meeting in March is to choose the bid city, with the board preparing a recommendation in collaboration with a committee made up of experienced athletes, politicians, and community representatives. Both Berlin and Hamburg have agreed to the process.
Open and democratic
The DOSB board emphasised the open and democratic process being adopted, to include a local referendum in the bid city at an appropriate time.
“The Olympics and Paralympics are the most important event of all for German sport,” says DOSB President Alfons Hoermann. “Hosted in a sustainable way, they represent an opportunity for the country as a whole and especially for the host city and its region. From Munich in 1972 until London in 2012 we can clearly see what the games can mean for the economy, for society, and above all for sport, when the concept is right and the execution is done properly.”
According to a representative survey commissioned by DOSB at the start of September 2014, more than three quarters of residents of both cities would welcome the games coming back to Germany. Other surveys conducted across Germany as a whole confirm this result. “We see this as a mandate to pursue the matter professionally and with all our strength,” says Hoermann.
“That people are still undecided about whether they want the games in their own city – in their own backyard – is not surprising so early in the bidding process, because the precise framework and the costs are still unspecified,” explains DOSB General Director Michael Vesper.
Majority in Hamburg says ‘yes’
Whilst the population in Berlin is currently evenly divided, there is already a clear majority in favour of hosting the games in Hamburg. In both cities, there is a strong preference for a bid for 2024 rather than 2028. Support in both cities is significantly stronger amongst under-30s than amongst over-60s.
Good for the city
“Closing the gap between general agreement with Germany hosting the games and specifically supporting a hometown bid is a challenge to be faced by sports organisations and the cities involved,” says Hoermann. Clear majorities in Hamburg (60 percent) and Berlin (55 percent) believe that the games could have a positive effect on urban development, with 79 percent and 74 percent respectively believing the games would enhance the city’s reputation abroad. This view was even shared by two thirds of Hamburg residents and almost half of Berliners against bidding for the games.
Germany’s athletic city
Hamburg is city that loves sport. A survey conducted by the University of Osnabrueck reveals that Hamburg is the most athletic of Germany’s major cities, and Germany’s Olympians were given a rousing welcome as they returned to the city after the London games in 2012. The city hosts major global sporting events every year, including the Hanse Marathon, the Cyclassics bike race, and the ITU Triathlon.
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