The Summer Olympics are headed back to Australia for the third time, with International Olympic Committee members awarding the 2032 games to Brisbane on Wednesday.
Australia previously hosted the Games in Melbourne in 1956 and in Sydney in 2000. Australian officials are hoping those efforts give them the knowledge needed to pull off a successful 2032 event.
“Australia has a love affair with the Olympic Games, as evidenced by the fact that we are one of only two countries to have sent a contingent of athletes to each edition of the Olympic Games in the modern era,” Australian officials posted on the Olympic website.
“Today, we have in our hands the third opportunity for Australia to host the biggest sporting event on the planet,” they continued. “To do this, we intend to build on innovations as well as the successes of Sydney 2000 and Melbourne 1956.”
Awarding of the Olympic host city is usually an intense competition with various locations making pitches to land the Games. That wasn’t the case this time, as Brisbane was the only city to formally apply.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the bid was a chance for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the region.
“We’ve started our coming of age as a truly global city,” Schrinner said in a video message posted on Twitter. “And once this city becomes an Olympic city, it’s always an Olympic city.”
City officials believe the Olympics can boost the regional economy by more than $8 billion.
“We made the decision to go for gold,” Schrinner said. “Gold for our economy. Gold for tourism. Gold for our transport network. And gold for jobs. This will be a golden age for Brisbane and a golden age for Queensland.”
Queensland officials expect to spend about $5 billion on transportation upgrades and venues in the 10 years running up to the Games. Officials said Brisbane already has 84 percent of the event venues and stadiums in place, though some will undergo upgrades.
The main costs will come in constructing a new swimming venue and billions in transportation projects. Australian officials said the transportation needs were already there even without the Olympics.
“We want to show the world that midsized cities and regions can host the Games without financial distress or missed deadlines,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk emphasized during her presentation to voters.
Brisbane follows Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028 as future sites for the Summer Olympics. This year’s games in Tokyo are starting one year late under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Winter Olympics will be held next year in Beijing and in 2026 in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
“What really excites Australians is the chance for our children, for sport, and, of course, to show how beautiful our country is,” the Brisbane committee wrote. “Fans can look forward to unparalleled sporting experiences at the 37 world-class venues, with iconic beaches, a rural hinterland with breathtaking scenery, and fascinating cities with rich culture as a backdrop. And plenty of entertainment.”