Bidding for the Olympics is set to become cheaper, easier and more attractive for cities while sports will enter the Games quicker, the IOC said on Tuesday, presenting 40 recommendations for changes in the way the Games are run.
"We have to look into the future and try to address the challenges which may arise in the future and the challenges we have already now," International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach told a small group of reporters. "We want to show with this procedure that the IOC is opening up, that we are opening a window and we want to have fresh wind coming in," he said of the wide-reaching recommendations.
Bid cities will no longer need to abide by extensive IOC prerequisites, or carry alone the considerable financial burden of the bid if the recommendations are approved, as expected, at the IOC session in Monaco in December. They will be "invited" to a dialogue with the IOC to determine how the bid city plans to integrate the Games into its plans for the future.
Future Olympic host cities will also be allowed to stage events outside the city or "in exceptional cases", even outside the country for reasons of sustainability, one of the recommendations reads, breaking from the long Olympic tradition of one host city/nation staging the events. Sports will also not have to wait seven years from being approved for their first Olympic appearance, but instead could be brought in for just one Olympics to maximise the Games' reach and attraction.
The first Games to benefit could be the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics with the Japanese pushing for the inclusion of baseball and softball, after they were taken off the programme following the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Organising committees can propose the addition of "one or more additional events" on the Olympic programme after their city is elected for that one edition of the Games, with the Games programme becoming more events-based rather than sports-based.
The IOC can also propose new events, Bach said. "Now the door is open (for sports). The IOC by itself can also take a decision that we are adding this or that event," Bach said. "It only has to happen before the city is elected so that candidates know what they have to deal with. Any changes after can happen in agreement with the host city."