Sapporo could lock up 2030 Winter Olympics in 2022

Japan Times -- Jan 02
The International Olympic Committee and Japan officials have been holding behind-the-scenes talks that could secure Sapporo’s bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics in 2022, multiple sources with knowledge of the matter said Friday.

According to the sources, the IOC is currently looking to settle on one host candidate sometime between this summer and winter. Because Sapporo’s track record of hosting and managing events is highly regarded, the decision could be decided in the city’s favor before this year ends.

Sapporo, which staged the 1972 Winter Olympics, will conduct a survey throughout Hokkaido as early as March to study the pros and cons of hosting in 2030. A revised draft of the city’s hosting plan in November estimated the cost between ¥280 billion and Y300 billion ($2.4 billion to 2.6 billion).

Because the IOC is currently feeling a sense of crisis regarding the increasing costs of hosting the Olympics, it is placing great importance on the use of existing facilities and local approval. As such, positive results from Sapporo’s survey could affect the IOC’s decision.

In response to the slackening enthusiasm of cities seeking to host the Olympics, the IOC in 2019 drastically reformed its host-city selection process. Having scrapped its rule that host city selection take place seven years in advance of the Olympics, the IOC’s winter and summer Future Host Commissions are engaging with potential hosts cities much earlier.