Monday, June 04, 2007

Interpreting The 2014 Olympic Bid Evaluation Report

Today the IOC released the 2014 Olympic bid evaluation report - an 84-page document outlining the details of each of the three bids gleaned from the bid books and site evaluation visits.

Shortly after its release, news reports rolled out giving various opinions of "who's in the lead".

My first comment is: most IOC members don't read the evaluation report. Those who do read it will still cast secret ballots on election day and vote according to their own motives, agendas and interests. Unless the report documents a severe lack of qualifications for a bid, it will have very little impact.

However, in an ironic twist, the media's reaction to such reports could have an impact if the IOC member is easily suggestible.

Some reports, such as this piece from Reuters, have put Salzburg and PyeongChang ahead of Sochi based on some wording in the "concept" section of the evaluation report. While Sochi's concept was described as "very good" the other two bids were said to have "excellent" concepts. But the bid's concept is only a small portion of the overall plan. In the IOC Candidature guide the concept refers only to strategies and vision for the Games, such as venue layouts and plans.

In the past the IOC published an final overall opinion in the report that would refer to a bid's ability to organize the Games - terms such as excellent, good and very good could be used to differentiate the bids. But this method is no longer used and it seems some reporters have erroneously misdirected this qualitative tool.

This CNN International report seems to draw the same conclusion as above.

Bloomberg reports that PyeongChang had the best evaluation due to lack of criticizm in the report. This is from more of an overall perspective and likely a lot more valid.

From my perspective, Salzburg seemed the weakest out of this report. The bid was criticized more frequently and more harshly than the other two bids including the almost unnecessary comment that "presentations lacked detail". It almost seems the IOC was trying to make a point.

Other more critical comments were notes on the lack of various guarantees required by the IOC and below-minimum accomodation standards as well as a possibly insufficient budget and underestimated security requirements. Perhaps the most damaging information about Salzburg was the low 42% public support received by the bid in an IOC poll. These are not minor items.

While the IOC is legitimately concerned with Sochi's mammoth construction plans, there were few other significant deficiencies mentioned - and their concept was only "very good".

PyeongChang seemed to come out of this process the most unscathed. The only real criticizm seemed to be a venue with too many seats, something that could easily be resolved. With the top public support numbers in the IOC poll and general praise throughout, it seems the Evaluation Commission has made its subliminal choice.

But "winners" of evaluation reports don't always win the bid. Over 100 IOC members vote on election day and they really don't care what the Evaluation Commission thinks.


fullofhype said...

Indeed you are right when you say, "over 100 IOC members vote on election day and they really don't care what the Evaluation Commission thinks." Paris, which was a clear favorite to win the right to host the 2012 games, lost to London. I'm interested to see how the candidate cities will lobby themselves to appeal to the IOC members from now to when they all meet in Guatemala.

alexander said...

I think everyone agrees that PC has truly deserved these Games. Last time it was defeated by a slim margin and has done the best preparation so far. Furthermore PC serves the true spirit of Olympic Games - to contribute to peace and harmony in the world!... BR Alex

SEREGA said...

The best candidate is Sochi. Because there is no need of another olympics in Alps, and PyeongChang already host major olympic event same year. So answer is clear. It is Sochi all the way, it has more support from its own country, more then others.