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Posts Tagged ‘Rio de Janeiro’

IOC pays price for picking Rio over Chicago

Posted by ZA on March 1, 2010

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had to balance a lot of factors in selecting Rio de Janeiro as host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics over Chicago (and Barcelona & Tokyo).  They had to consider which location had the facilities and infrastructure, they considered which city/country/continent was deserving (South America has never hosted an Olympics) and of course they had to consider which candidate would help the bottom line.  Their financial considerations likely included which host city could bring lucrative sponsors and broadcast dollars.  And while the potential pool for sponsors is global and the IOC sells broadcast rights to a multiple countries, the right host country will greatly increase the financial potential.

As the IOC begins negotiations for broadcast rights on the 2016 Olympics, they may finally be having a twinge of regret at not selecting Chicago as host city.  That is because the IOC’s initial discussions with U.S. based broadcast rights partners has met with “tepid response“.  The potential U.S. broadcast partners are already working on bringing down the IOC asking price.  A normal negotiating tactic?  Sure, but keep in-mind that NBC paid $2.1 billion for the 2010 & 2012 broadcast rights.  That is the bar the IOC wants to surpass, but it seems unlikely they’ll be able to with the 2014 games in Sochi and 2016 in Rio.  Winter Games don’t normally draw the big bucks like the Summer Olympics, as evidenced by the rumored $200 million that NBC will lose to broadcast the Vancouver Olympics, so Rio is the big ticket item.

Rio will surely be a fantastic host of the 2016 Olympics and they will open up plenty of new opportunities for the Olympics in South America.  New sponsorships and new broadcast partners will be brought into the IOC family.  But even with those positives, the IOC is now realizing that Chicago would have been a cash cow.  If Chicago were the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics, all of the major U.S. sports networks would be lining up to set the record on broadcast rights paid on an Olympic games.  Chicago would have likely netted a broadcast rights deal north of $2.5 billion, which is the new mark the IOC and Rio have to try to surpass.  If they don’t the IOC might for the first time have some regrets over picking Rio over Chicago.

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Is Rio the most dangerous city to host the Olympics?

Posted by ZA on October 21, 2009

The IOC recently selected Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.  Rio beat out an impressive field of candidates, including; Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo.  Rio de Janeiro was one of the host cities in Brazil that was selected by FIFA to host the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament.  Which means the two biggest sporting events in the world are coming to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rio and Brazil are deserving hosts of these events, but one lingering question is will safety be an issue for these events?  Rio does have a history of violence and has been named as one of the most dangerous cities in the world.  The president of Brazil recently offered almost $60 million dollars to Rio de Janeiro; money that would be used to help curb the widespread gang violence in the city.  This was after a particularly violent weekend in Rio which saw 17 people murdered as drug gangs battled the police.

These questions that Rio is facing now are the same questions that South Africa faced when when they were awarded the 2010 World Cup.  In South Africa’s case those questions cannot be definitively answered until next Summer when the World Cup kicks off.  A few people I know who traveled to South Africa recently said there are areas that are very safe and a few areas that tourists should probably stay away from; essentially they gave South Africa a positive rating when it comes to safety.  So if South Africa can avoid any major violence, there is no reason to think that Rio and Brazil won’t be able to as well.

There is always lots of petty crime that follows these big sporting events.  The pickpockets in Italy for the Torino Winter Olympics were legendary.  So both South Africa and Brazil will have to work hard to keep crime to a minimum, but I don’t expect there will be much violence.  They will both spend whatever it takes to keep the violence from drug gangs and the like from marring their big events.  The memories of the murders at the 1972 Olympics in Munich and bombing in Atlanta in 1996 make sure they don’t forget what could happen if they let down their guard.

So although Rio de Janeiro is often in the headlines for violence, it is ultimately not likely to have any more violence during the Summer Games or World Cup than any other recent host city.


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2016 Olympics awarded to Rio de Janeiro

Posted by ZA on October 2, 2009

I’m happy for the people of Brazil that Rio de Janeiro was selected.   I always think it’s a good story when a country, who has never previously had the opportunity, gets their shot on the world stage.  Now Brazil will get two chances to shine in-front of the world; as hosts of the 2014 World Cup and then the 2016 World Cup.  That’s quite a coup for them.

I am a bit surprised that Rio was selected.  I know they were the favorite (at least until Obama came into the bid process) but I never really thought the IOC would give them the Olympics.  I thought the IOC would view Brazil hosting the World Cup two years prior as a negative factor and ultimate award the games to someone else.  I figured the IOC wouldn’t want to play second fiddle to FIFA who will oversee their soccer tournament in Brazil two years earlier.

I’m also surprised that Chicago was voted out of the process first.  I wonder if the lack of support by Chicago residents was what ultimately did them in.  Or perhaps it was the world’s way of rejecting America by showing us the door first.  That last thought certainly shows my bias, but I thought Chicago was the best choice for the 2016 Games.  It certainly makes the most sense from a financial standpoint because corporate dollars and television contracts would have been much stronger.

The one thing I’m not surprised by is that the IOC did something unexpected.  It’s a tough organization to predict and once again they surprised me.


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