The Evaluation Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave a positive assessment of the candidacy of the Spanish capital city of Madrid after a four-day visit to check on the city’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, president of the Commission Colin Reedie said the 2020 bid was the best the city had so far organised, adding that he had been impressed by a “very solid and professional” campaign which had the advantage of overwhelming public support, reports Xinhua.
“We have seen the unity of the administration and the support of businesses. We also know there is popular enthusiasm for the Games, which has been influenced by the support of Spanish people,” said Mr. Reedie.
“This third candidacy is better than the first and the second candidates,” he added, in reference to the failed bids of 2012 when Madrid finished behind Paris and London and 2016 when the Spanish capital lost out to Rio de Janeiro.
He also said the economic crisis which had manifested during the visit by strikes on the Madrid Metro system and the Club de Campo, where golf and modern pentathlon would be played, was not a major factor given that the Spanish economy would recover.
The IOC delegates visited key venues for 2020, starting with a visit to Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, and other sites including the Las Ventas bullring and the Stadium of the Peineta, which is currently being developed to become the home ground of Atletico Madrid football club and also the Olympic Stadium.
Madrid has several advantages, given that the city already has 45,000 hotel rooms available and an excellent transport infrastructure. This means Madrid would not need to spend too much money on new constructions, although obviously the athletes’ village and a media village, for a prospective 19,000 journalists, would need to be constructed with the city promising to make the buildings as ecologically sustainable and ‘smart’ as possible.
The Spanish hope a successful bid for Madrid would give a boost to Spain’s economy and it remains to be seen which city would get the chance to host the games. The IOC would name the city on September 7.