TOKYO • Brisbane will host the 2032 Summer Olympics, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) yesterday approved the recommendation of its executive board.
Hundreds of people gathered by the riverside in South Bank, the city's cultural heart, to watch the IOC session on the big screen and there were loud cheers as Brisbane became the third Australian city to be awarded the Summer Games, after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.
The confirmation comes three years after the state of Queensland hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"It's a historic day not just for Brisbane and Queensland, but for the entire country," said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
"Only global cities can secure the Olympic Games - so this is fitting recognition for Brisbane's standing across our region and the world."
Queensland's state capital had been the preferred host and earned the nod of the executive board last month. The selection means Australia becomes only the second country in the world, after the United States, to stage the Summer Games in three different cities.
"It also marks an important leap forward for Australia as we look towards major events that lock in economic growth and social benefits that will echo for years to come," said Mr Morrison.
Several cities and countries - including Indonesia, Budapest, China, Doha and Germany's Ruhr Valley - had publicly expressed an interest in staging the 2032 Games.
But in a new process adopted by the IOC that does not openly pit candidates against each other, Brisbane had already moved ahead of its rivals back in February, having been selected as a "preferred host".
The IOC overhauled its bidding rules in 2019 to reduce costs and make the process easier for cities.
There are no official candidate cities campaigning ahead of the vote as had been the case in the past. Instead, the IOC picks a preferred host after talks with all interested cities and puts that city to a vote at its session.
"The Olympic Games in Brisbane will be in the most diligent, grateful and enthusiastic hands," said Australian Olympic Committee chief John Coates, who is also an IOC vice-president. "And I make this commitment to the athletes of the world - we will provide you with an unforgettable experience."
The city's bid had earned repeated praise from the IOC for its high percentage of existing venues, support from all levels of government and the private sector, experience in organising major events and its favourable weather, among other things.
A commitment in April from the Australian government to split the infrastructure costs 50-50 with local government further boosted its chances.
Awarding the Games to Australia was also a nod to senior IOC member Coates, one of the closest allies of president Thomas Bach.
Coates, who will have to leave the organisation when he reaches the age limit of 74 in 2024, had unsuccessfully attempted to land the 1992 Games for Brisbane - they were eventually awarded to Barcelona.
After the Tokyo Games, which start officially tomorrow, Paris will stage the 2024 edition, while Los Angeles will be the host in 2028.