The old tendering process had become increasingly untenable. Candidates frequently withdrew from the race after encountering local opposition. Corruption was a persistent problem.
“This revolution in the bidding process is an essential part of our good governance reforms,” said Thomas Bach, IOC President, in a pre-Games interview. “With this new process, he’s a lot less prone to all of that kind of lobbying and also to the corruption that we’ve obviously seen in the past.”
Candidates who made it through the old process were often flawed.
For the 2022 Winter Games, for example, candidate cities from Germany, Norway, Sweden, Poland and Switzerland, among others, canceled their candidacies due to lack of support at home. The last two remaining offers came from Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan – two places known for human rights issues. Beijing won the vote and the IOC has since been peppered with criticism from human rights activists.
As part of the new process put in place two years ago, the IOC has created two panels to review potential cities and make recommendations to the organization’s board of directors.
The ultimate selection of Brisbane had therefore felt almost assured since February, when the committee revealed that the city was its “preferred partner”, thus initiating discussions on the final details. The vote taken by IOC members on Wednesday was widely seen as a formality.