Brisbane close to hosting 2032 Olympics after approval of ‘irresistible’ bid

Brisbane is close to being formally confirmed as the host of the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics next month after its “irresistible” bid was unanimously approved by the International Olympic Committee’s executive.

The decision still needs to be put to a vote of IOC members in Tokyo on 21 July, but with no other cities left in contention it will almost certainly be a rubber-stamping exercise. If confirmed it will be the third time an Australian city has hosted the Olympic Games after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

The IOC president, Thomas Bach, said Brisbane had impressed his organisation because it presented a “clear vision for a sustainable and feasible Olympic Games” which was fully aligned with the IOC’s vision. Bach also cited its climate in July and August as well as the “great support from the public and across the political spectrum”.

“All these together made it somehow irresistible for the future host commission as well as for the executive board,” Bach said. “But we are not there yet. It’s in the hands of the IOC members to vote on 21st of July.”

Several countries had expressed an interest in the 2032 Games, including Hungary, China, Qatar and Germany. But in a new process which no longer openly pits cities against each other, Brisbane took the box seat in February when it became the IOC’s preferred bidder.

The bid, which plans to use 84% existing and temporary venues to cut down on costs, also benefited from a pledge from Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, that the federal government would cover half the costs, adding contributions from state and local governments.

“The Brisbane 2032 Olympic project shows how forward-thinking leaders recognise the power of sport as a way to achieve lasting legacies for their communities,” Bach added.

However, he rejected claims that the IOC had not been transparent in awarding the Games, and denied that there had been a conflict of interest given his vice-president, John Coates, is from Australia. “There are very strict rules in the IOC, and these rules are closely monitored by our chief compliance and ethics officer,” Bach said. “And as a result of this, John Coates has not taken part in any discussion or any decision.”