3 Candidate Cities: Istanbul, Tokyo, Madrid
On the evening of 7 September 2013, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge announced Tokyo as the host city of the 2020 Olympic Games.
This announcement was the culmination of a two-year process, which the IOC has developed over a number of years to ensure that the city that is elected is capable of hosting the Games and that the process is transparent for all involved. Here is a brief recap of how the decision was reached.
A total of six cities endorsed by their National Olympic Committees (NOCs) submitted their applications to host the 2020 Olympic Games. These cities, in order of the drawing of lots, were: Istanbul, Tokyo, Baku, Doha, Madrid, and Rome*. Phase I, known as the Candidature Acceptance Procedure, involved a thorough review by the IOC of each city’s potential to organise the 2020 Olympic Games. Cities were asked to reply to a questionnaire, and their answers, which were consolidated in a document called the Applicant File, were studied by an IOC-appointed Working Group. This Working Group produced a report to assist the IOC Executive Board in selecting the cities to become Candidate Cities and move on to Phase II.
*Rome withdrew during the first phase of the bid process
Phase I: Timeline
1 September 2011: NOCs informed the IOC of the name of an Applicant City
15 February 2012: Submission of Application File and guarantee letters to the IOC
February-May 2012: Examination of replies by the IOC
23 May 2012: IOC Executive Board acceptance of Candidate Cities
On 23 May 2012, the IOC Executive Board selected Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid as Candidate Cities to advance to the second phase of the bid process. Phase II requires Candidate Cities to submit their Candidature File, an in-depth description of their Olympic project, and prepare for the visit of the 2020 IOC Evaluation Commission. The Candidature files are based upon the 14 themes of the IOC’s Candidature Procedure and Questionnaire and these files form the basis of each city’s bid for the Games. The 2020 Evaluation Commission made a detailed technical assessment of each candidature and published a report provided to all IOC members, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of all the cities.
Phase II: Timeline
7 January 2013: Submission of Candidature File and guarantees to the IOC
March 2013: Evaluation Commission visits
25 June 2013: Report of the 2020 IOC Evaluation Commission published*
3 and 4 July 2013: 2020 Briefing for IOC members
(At the discretion of the Executive Board): Designation by the Executive Board of Candidate Cities to be submitted to the IOC Session for election
7 September 2013: Election of the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games and signature of the Host City Contract
*To be delivered at the time of the Technical Briefing for IOC Members
In September 2012, President Rogge announced the composition of the IOC Evaluation Commission for the 2020 Games. Led by IOC Vice-President Sir Craig Reedie, the Commission was composed of representatives of the Olympic Movement and a number of technical advisors. The Commission visited each of the Candidate Cities on the following dates:
Tokyo: 4 - 7 March 2013
Madrid: 18 - 21 March 2013
Istanbul: 24 - 27 March 2013
Following these visits, the Commission produced the IOC Evaluation Commission report, a technical appraisal of each city’s bid. The report was made public and distributed to the IOC members prior to the 2020 Candidate City Briefing for IOC Members.
2020 Candidate City Briefing for IOC Members
A technical briefing for IOC members with the Candidate Cities was held in Lausanne on 3 and 4 July 2013. This meeting gave the cities and the IOC members the opportunity to discuss the technical elements of their bids over a two-day period. This meeting involved a technical briefing from each city, followed by a second day for members to ask any follow-up questions they had and view plans and models of each bid.
125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires
The culmination of the bid process was the meeting of the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires (Argentina). On 7 September 2013, the cities each had 45 minutes to give a presentation to the Session, followed by 15 minutes for questions. The cities presented in the order of drawing of lots, carried out by the IOC Executive Board in December 2011.
Following the presentations by the cities, the Chair of the Evaluation Commission, Sir Craig Reedie, addressed the Session. The IOC members then voted and took the important decision of electing the new host city. The winning city was announced by the IOC President at the Announcement Ceremony, following which the newly elected NOC and city signed the Host City Contract.
The Vote Regulations
The eligible IOC members are asked to vote. In each round each participating IOC member may vote for only one city. As per the voting regulations, only those IOC members who are not nationals of countries for which there is a candidate city in a round are permitted to vote. The votes of members not taking part in a round of voting or who abstain, as well as invalid electronic voting entries, are not taken into account in the calculation of the required majority. If, after the first round of voting, no city obtains the absolute majority of the votes cast, as many rounds are held as necessary for a city to obtain such majority. The city receiving the least number of votes leaves the competition. The name of this city is made public straight away and the vote continues. If only two cities remain in contention, the one that obtains the greatest number of votes is elected. The winning city is then announced by the IOC President at the Announcement Ceremony, following which the newly elected NOC and city will sign the Host City Contract.
Istanbul: 26 / Tokyo: 42 / Madrid: 26
Round 1 tie-breaker
Istanbul: 49 / Madrid: 45
Istanbul: 36 / Tokyo: 60
Olympic Games Candidature Process
Candidature Process 2026
- From Candidate to Host City
- Benefits of a Candidature for the Games