The Olympic Games are set to return to Australia in 2032 after Brisbane and the state of Queensland was installed as the preferred bidder for the event by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following an executive committee meeting.
IOC president Thomas Bach told a news conference that the decision “was not a decision against anybody.
“This is just a decision in favour of one interested party at this moment in time.”
Preferred status means the IOC will negotiate exclusively with the Australian bid.
Brisbane, if negotiations conclude successfully and are then approved by an IOC Session, would be the third Australian city to host the Games after Melbourne had the honour in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.
That would effectively end the hopes of other bidders, with Rhine-Ruhr, Doha, Budapest, Jakarta, New Delhi, Istanbul, St Petersburg and the Chinese cities of Chengdu and Chongqing having also looked into possible bids.
Bach said Brisbane “proposes sustainable Games in line with the region’s long-term strategy and using primarily existing and temporary venues.
“The commitment of Australia and Oceania to Olympic sports has grown remarkably since the fantastic Olympic Games Sydney 2000. This is why we see such strong public support.
“We decided to seize an opportunity to take to the next stage our discussions about returning 32 years later.
“In this way, we are also acknowledging the strength of the Australian team and other athletes from across the continent of Oceania at the Olympic Games over the past decades.”
The IOC developed the preferred bidder system in 2019 to prevent potential hosts spending large amounts of money over several years only to fall short.
“We are delighted the IOC Executive Board agreed with the Commission’s recommendation to invite Brisbane 2032 to targeted dialogue,” said Kristin Kloster Aasen, chair of the Future Host Commission.
“The IOC EB and the Commission noted the excellent progress that it has made, the strength of its proposition and the strategic opportunities it affords to the Olympic Movement.”
Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games, delayed to this year because of the coronavirus, while Paris has the 2024 Games and Los Angeles the 2028 edition after a double award was made in 2017.