Brisbane Named Host City for 2032 Olympic Games
Brisbane looks set to win the 2032 Olympic Games after an IOC meeting Thursday. The Australian city was the only one proposed by the IOC.
Unlike the old process, the new selection model does not pit cities against each other and sets realistic demands to avoid excessive spending and white elephant projects.
The city of Brisbane in Australia has been named the host city for the 2032 Olympic Games. The Australian capital beat out cities from across the world in a new, streamlined process designed to cut campaign costs and reduce the risk of vote-buying. The decision was made at the 138th session of the International Olympic Committee in Tokyo on Wednesday. It will be the third time Australia hosts the Olympics, following Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. The victory is a major coup for the city, which had been considered a long shot to host.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hailed the announcement as a “historic day not just for Brisbane and Queensland, but for the whole of Australia.” The country’s Olympic chief, John Coates, who is also an IOC vice president, said the decision was based on the city’s existing infrastructure, its experience in hosting large events, its favourable weather conditions, its willingness to work with the IOC, and the fact that more than 80% of venues used in the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be available in 2032.
According to the IOC, it will cost $4.5 billion to stage the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane. That includes the estimated operating budget and the price of constructing new facilities. Some of the venues will be used again from the Gold Coast Olympic Games, while four new ones will be built.
A key reason for the choice was the city’s support from all levels of government and the private sector, as well as its extensive existing Olympic venues and its ability to use the facilities for other purposes after the games. The city has a population of 1.5 million and is situated in the state of Queensland.
The decision was not greeted with unanimous support in the city, which is located some 500 miles (810 kilometers) from the capital, Canberra. Some residents complained about the high cost of holding the games and feared that most benefits would go to major stakeholders. The mayor of Brisbane, Adrian Schrinner, defended the decision, saying it will inspire locals to be “one step better” than they are today.
With the city of Brisbane named the host for the 2032 Olympic Games, the state of Queensland has been awash in celebration and pride. The win was the culmination of a hard-fought campaign helmed by Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and the state’s premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk. The bid team was bolstered by the efforts of a federal government delegation headed by sports minister Richard Colbeck.
It was the first time a single city had been awarded the Games under the new fast-track system, a process designed to cut campaign costs and give the IOC more control while eliminating the risk of vote-buying. The city’s strong support from three tiers of government, the availability of 80 percent of venues, and its “passion-driven, athlete-centric” offer all were considered in the IOC’s decision.
Aside from its obvious economic benefits, hosting the Olympics could mark a turning point for Australia’s relationship with the Games. With the country enduring a long drought in major events, the decision to select Brisbane signals a change of fortunes.
The decision was also a triumph for the Australian Olympic Committee, led by John Coates, who has been a key figure in shaping the IOC’s reforms. The IOC vice president pushed for the speedy process that was implemented two years ago, and it seems to have paid off.
There are concerns about the financial implications of the event, however, with reports suggesting that it may cost more than $4 billion. In addition, there are worries that many of the economic gains will go to large stakeholders rather than the wider community.
One area that is expected to benefit from the Games is infrastructure investment, with Brisbane’s mayor pointing to improvements such as an underground rail line and a rapid bus network.
There is also talk of changing the name of the city to Meanjin, which is a traditional name for the Brisbane region among the Aboriginal peoples of the region. It is also the name of an Indigenous reserve in the city. The plan has been criticised by the leader of Australia’s right-wing populist party, One Nation senator Pauline Hanson. She has called it “insane” to want to change the city’s name, which has been in use for 150 years.
Brisbane has taken a giant leap towards hosting the 2032 Olympics after being named as the sole proposed host city for the Games. The International Olympic Committee’s executive board approved a recommendation to begin discussions with Brisbane bid officials next week, bringing the region closer to the first-ever host selection where no other city or country challenged the decision. IOC President Thomas Bach said that the city’s strong support from the government and its love for sport made them an “irresistible choice.” He added that a successful bid would accelerate infrastructure investment and development. He cited a new swimming arena, billions in transport projects — not because of the Olympics but in time for them – and more jobs as part of the benefits.
Australia already has a good track record of hosting the Olympics, with Melbourne and Sydney both having hosted in 1956 and 2000 respectively. Brisbane is the first city to be named under a streamlined process meant to cut costs by eliminating costly bidding wars between cities. The IOC’s executive board voted unanimously to fast-track the city’s bid in February and Wednesday’s 138th IOC session acted as a rubber stamp to the move.
The IOC’s revamped selection process also aims to be more responsive to the world’s geopolitical context, place more emphasis on human rights and environmental conditions in candidate cities, and reduce the risk of vote-buying. In addition, the IOC has reworked its budget to help the Games remain financially viable for future hosts.
The IOC will be looking for an experienced local organizing committee to lead the planning of the Games and will hold discussions with potential candidates in September. It will then choose the host by December 2025. The governing body will then have up to three years to stage the event in 2032. The city’s plan calls for events to be held in the Brisbane central business district, Gold Coast, Logan and Ipswich, as well as at a second athlete village. Up to 14,000 athletes are expected to be accommodated at the venues. In its bid, the city emphasized that a major goal of the games will be to inspire people to strive to be better than they were yesterday.
The Olympics are back in Australia after Brisbane won the right to host the 2032 Summer Games. The victory was no surprise, but it marks the start of a new chapter for the iconic international sporting event—one that could be cheaper for host cities, more transparent, less damaging to the environment, and finally, maybe even save them from a future littered with abandoned venues and corruption scandals.
The decision was made during a meeting of International Olympic Committee members in Tokyo. Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates led the delegation that included Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. They made a powerful pitch that included highlighting the city’s resilience and unity in the face of natural disasters. Coates also spoke about the new Olympic motto of “higher, stronger, faster – together,” a theme that resonated with IOC members.
Brisbane’s qualities as a potential Olympic host made it an early favorite: it has a long history with large-scale sports events, many existing venues; a favorable summer climate; and strong support from local and state governments. However, the city’s most compelling argument was that hosting the Olympics would boost economic growth and align with a strategy to improve transport infrastructure. The city’s skyline includes architecturally significant structures such as the Harry Seidler–designed Riparian Plaza and One One One Eagle Street, which features LED lighting resembling the buttress roots of a Moreton Bay fig tree.
After six years of meticulous planning, Brisbane’s bid was ultimately voted on in a secret ballot that lasted no more than 30 minutes. The majority of IOC members agreed to give the city the Games.
The choice of Brisbane marks the first time a non-European city has hosted the Games. The city is expected to spend billions on the Games, which will be held in 2032 and run from a core site in the city center and around its riverside parks. The games will be the first to be required to operate as “climate positive,” meaning they offset more carbon emissions than they produce. The move will likely lead to more cities bidding for the Games in the future, and perhaps revive interest in a sport that has lost some of its luster in recent years.