Olympics minus the debt promised if south-east wins bid
THE Sunshine Coast will not be left with a massive debt if it co-hosts the 2028 Olympic Games.
That was the promise from Mayor Mark Jamieson after a meeting with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach in Sydney yesterday.
The meeting, also attended by Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates, was the first official expression of interest in hosting the Games by the South East Queensland Council of Mayors.
Mr Jamieson said it was a rare chance to put the region's case to Mr Bach and the feedback had been positive.
The Council of Mayors hopes to hold the 2028 Olympics across south-east Queensland, with Brisbane the focal point and other centres playing a key role.
"I think Mr Bach was originally worried the distances and travel time were too great, but he was very enthusiastic after we explained the geography of the region to him," Mr Jamieson said.
"It was a very fruitful discussion and we received genuine encouragement.
"As new Olympic president and the first gold medal-winning athlete to head the IOC, he is very focused on the athletes' experience.
"He is also very determined the IOC leaves a positive legacy wherever events are held. He doesn't want to leave communities destitute as a result of hosting the Games."
That would leave a lasting legacy for the Coast if the bid was successful.
Most of the funding for facilities and infrastructure would come from federal and state governments, major sponsors and ticket sales.
"There is a lot of work to be done in completing a feasibility study to give us guidance on what is proposed, what it will cost and where the money will come from," Mr Jamieson said.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for south-east Queensland and one we are committed to explore.
"Both the IOC and AOC are committed to assist us in any way they can."
Mr Jamieson said he believed a push to spread the Games across Melbourne, Sydney and south-east Queensland would not be as attractive to Olympic bosses.
"Mr Bach was insistent there needed to be centralised athletes' village," the Mayor said.
"As a former Olympian, he believes a key part of the experience is to mix with other athletes. It hard to imagine that could happen if the Games were spread right across the eastern seaboard."