Shanghai confirms study into 2032 Olympics but clarifies it has not decided on a bid
- Government will pay research agency US$92,000 to assess city’s sports facilities and ability to host the event
- Sports bureau says media ‘misunderstood’ announcement and that study is part of plan to develop world-class facilities in the city
Shanghai authorities have confirmed they ordered a feasibility study on hosting the 2032 Olympic Games, but say no decision has been made on whether they will launch a bid.
The Shanghai Sports Bureau on Wednesday said it wanted to clarify that there was no plan to join the race following media speculation that a bid was on the cards after it announced the study.
On Tuesday, the bureau said it had selected a local research agency to assess the city’s sports facilities and ability to host the Games, in a post on the municipal government’s procurement website.
It would pay 640,000 yuan (US$92,000) to the Shanghai Shangti Sports and Health Research Centre to carry out the study, which is expected to be completed by the end of February.
“Some media have misunderstood our statement, speculating that Shanghai was planning a bid to host the Olympics and prompting heated public discussion,” the sports bureau said in a statement.
It said the government was aiming to develop world-class sports facilities in Shanghai under its five-year plan to 2020 so that it could host more international events.
That involved research into existing facilities and the feasibility study for the Olympics so that it could set up a “tiered” system for hosting sporting events.
“We hope the media and the public don’t over-interpret our message,” the statement said.
The feasibility study and winning tender is open for public comment for a week.
Olympics beckons for Shanghai as potential 2032 host aims to reach world sports city status – if it isn’t already among the elite
Since Beijing hosted the Olympics in 2008, there has been growing speculation that Shanghai would mount a bid to become the second Chinese city to host the Games – or that it could seek to jointly host the event with nearby Hangzhou, in Zhejiang province.
But some locals are not enthusiastic about the prospect.
David He, who manages a securities firm in the city’s financial district Lujiazui, said he was hoping Shanghai would not host the Games. “Please just let Beijing continue to do it. Here in Shanghai, we don’t need this and we don’t value it,” he said.
“We already have the F1 Grand Prix, the Longines Global Champions Tour equestrian event and the Tennis Masters Cup. I think that’s quite enough – we don’t want the Olympics too, it costs too much money.”
There is also the inconvenience that comes with hosting a big event, something that is fresh in the minds of Shanghai residents. Last week, when the city hosted the inaugural China International Import Expo, there were complaints about the strain it put on the subway system as people chose to take the train rather than drive because there were so many road restrictions in place across Shanghai. Other disruptions in the city of 24 million people included delays to courier services because of stepped up security checks.