The 2014 Winter Games in Russia are approaching as fast as an icy bobsled! We would like to take this lead up to Sochi as an opportunity to reinvigorate our dialogue on the Olympics and Paralympics. Most importantly, the current attention on Sochi aligns well with the release of our book regarding the Olympic bid process’s impact on urban development.
Bidding for Development is hot off the Springer Publishing press and teeming with insights on how the Olympic bid process can accelerate transportation development, including recommendations geared toward stakeholders of every rank and level of investment.
Headlines on the exorbitant cost of Putin’s Games seem to dominate the recent chatter around the 2014 sporting mega-event. This final projection for what Russia spent on the Olympics—much of which went to the development of roads, tunnels, and arenas–has more than quadrupled since 2007 when they bid. At over $50 billion, the Sochi Games will be the most expensive Games in history. Some critics say that the bid process was riddled with corruption and that Sochi—a small beach resort—was an unwise site selection for showcasing the world’s top winter athletes.
That leads us to our favorite subject, not on the Olympic Games themselves, but the bid process and the full field of players involved in it! In 2006, Sochi competed with two other finalists for IOC selection. What are those cities up to now? Salzburg, Austria seems to be doing well, economically stable, and yet under the radar. Pyeongchang, South Korea was given more time to prepare as it was chosen to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Can these two “bid losers” come out ahead by, even momentarily, going through the process without the production? Would another city have been better prepared than Sochi? We would like to think that they would have after reading Bidding for Development!
The book takes an objective approach to bidding in this controversial climate. The book and its findings focus on how any city can use the bid process strategically to create a positive legacy, regardless of bid outcome.
Please spread the word about the book to anyone that may be interested in urban development, mega sporting events, and transportation policy…the Bid Framework in the book provides a roadmap for anyone interested in tactical planning for the Olympics. Happy reading and keep the Sochi conversation going!
Photo credit to NBC Photoblog