Around the Rings Olympic Bid Power Index – 2020 Cities in Virtual Dead Heat

By: Sheila S. Hula, Atlanta – March 7, 2012: The first edition of the Around the Rings Olympic Bid Power Index for 2020 shows a tight race with only two points separating Tokyo from its nearest competitors. Five cities want to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Baku, Azerbaijan; Doha, Qatar; Istanbul, Turkey, and Madrid, Spain, join Tokyo in the contest. The IOC will choose the host city at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September 2013.

“This is a fascinating field of cities,” said ATR Editor Ed Hula.

“Four of them are seeking the Olympics for the first time. Three are from Europe, two from Asia. Three of the five are Islamic nations. All of them are repeat bidders,” he continued.

The race may appear to be tight – Tokyo scored 67 out of 100 points, two points better than Madrid and Istanbul, four more than Doha and six more than Baku – but Hula cautions against reading too much into the preliminary rankings.

“It’s the early stage of the race, so our scores for the Power Index are in the middling range until we learn more about each bid. And the next time we analyze the cities — in late May — the field of contenders may change,” he said, explaining that the IOC could decide to cut the field even further. Rome, Italy, dropped out of the running in February.

The Power Index – now in its seventh year – is the only independent, authoritative review of Olympic bid cities. It is compiled by the experts at ATR, and is based on multiple visits to each city, reviews of bid documents, and interviews with bid leaders, members of the IOC and other experts.

For the full analysis, click here:

The 11 categories range from ambience to venue plans (see explanation of categories at the bottom of the article). Two categories are subjective; the others are based on numbers provided by the bid cities or gathered by ATR. The rankings are not meant to predict the outcome of the IOC vote, but rather to show the relative strengths and weaknesses of the cities.

To schedule an interview with Ed Hula, contact Sheila S. Hula at

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