Brisbane Olympics 2032: Australia Wins Bid to Host Games for Third Time

Brisbane will host the 2032 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee has confirmed, making Australia only the second country in the world—after the U.S.—to host the Summer Olympics in three different cities.

Australia first staged the games in Melbourne in 1956, before welcoming the new millennium with the Sydney Olympics in 2000, which are overwhelmingly considered one of the most successful games ever held.

The U.S., meanwhile, first hosted the games in St. Louis in 1904, before Los Angeles and Atlanta followed in 1984 and 1996 respectively. The Olympics return to L.A. in 2028.

Brisbane, the capital of Queensland and Australia's third-most populous city, was the only candidate left in the bidding process and emerged as the "preferred host" earlier this year and is the first city to be selected under the IOC's new bidding process.

The procedure, which was adopted by the IOC in 2019, no longer openly pits cities and regions against each other. Several cities, including Madrid, Budapest, Jakarta, Delhi and Doha had expressed interest in hosting the Olympics along with Germany's Ruhr valley region.

By February of this year, Brisbane was the clear favorite and its bid became the first to win unopposed since Los Angeles in 1984.

Its selection was a foregone conclusion after the IOC's executive gave its support last month, before the formal announcement on Wednesday in Tokyo at a ceremony involving IOC's president Thomas Bach and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"This is a very proud day for Australia, make no mistake," the Australian Olympic Committee president and IOC vice-president John Coates said.

"I thank the IOC members for their confidence. Brisbane 2032 is genuinely committed to serving the ideals of the Olympic movement.

"The Olympic Games in Brisbane will be in the most diligent, grateful and enthusiastic hands. I make this commitment to the athletes of the world—we will provide you with an unforgettable experience."

The organizing committee has estimated the games will cost approximately $5 billion and will result in economic benefit worth approximately $17 billion.

"My government is proud to be supporting this opportunity for Brisbane and southeast Queensland," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said as he appeared via video conference.

"The Australian and Queensland governments are fully funding the infrastructure projects to be delivered in preparation for the games, ensuring that they deliver for Brisbane 2032, but also leave a lasting legacy."

Queensland hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and Brisbane hosted the same event in 1982. Queensland's capital was one of the host cities for the 1987 and 2003 Rugby World Cups and for the 1992 Cricket World Cup.

During the Sydney Olympics in 2000, it was one of the host cities for the soccer tournament along with Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide.

The city's high number of existing venues (Brisbane hosts an ATP and WTA tournament once a year,) its experience in hosting major international events, and its famously good weather were all singled out as key factors in the IOC's assessment.

More importantly, the federal government agreed to contribute to 50 percent of the infrastructure cost, while Brisbane lord mayor, Adrian Schrinner and Palaszczuk stated their commitment to ensure the 2032 Games will be environmentally sustainable.

"Right from the beginning we wanted this to be a sustainable Games," Schrinner said. "We wanted to commit and [...] we would be the first host city to contractually agree to a climate-positive Games."

The 2032 Olympics are set to open on July 23 and run until August 8.

Annastacia Palaszczuk
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk celebrates after Brisbane was announced as the 2032 Summer Olympics host city during the 138th IOC Session at Hotel Okura in Tokyo on July 21. Getty Images/Toru Hanai/POOL /AFP