IOC warns on danger of decentralised Games
THE head of the International Olympic Committee has warned Queensland against "spreading events too far", as momentum builds behind a bid for the 2032 Games.
But the IOC is concerned a decentralised model will diminish the experience for athletes and heap additional costs on broadcasters.
IOC president Thomas Bach told Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates - during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 at the weekend - that hosts risked losing the Olympic "magic" if they stage events across vast areas.
"President Bach warned against spreading events too far, being mindful of comments from the athlete members of the IOC, who are concerned about the loss of the magic," Mr Coates said.
He said preliminary football games could be held at Townsville's new 25,000 stadium, which opens next year, while Cairns should be looked at to host group events in either basketball or volleyball. A similar approach will be taken at the Tokyo Games next year, with Fukushima to host preliminary matches of football, baseball and softball.
Multiple cities and regions are now able to host Olympic Games under changes to the IOC Charter.
After meeting Mr Morrison in Osaka on Saturday, Dr Bach said that he was "impressed by the clear and strong level of commitment" from the Prime Minister.
"He made it very clear that the Olympic Games would fit 100 per cent into his government's 10-year infrastructure planning. This early commitment and the well-known enthusiasm of the Aussies for sport are a great foundation for the Olympic Games 2032 in Queensland."
As revealed yesterday by The Courier-Mail, Mr Morrison told Dr Bach that Queensland was ready to put on a Games that would better Sydney 2000, and vowed his Government would be there "every step of the way".
Ms Palaszczuk is yet to commit to the bid, saying she still needs funding certainty from the Federal Government to help stage the games and deliver transport and infrastructure priorities.
The Premier and PM are expected to discuss the bid on the sidelines of COAG in Cairns next month.