World Cup first step for next Aussie Olympics
If you thought the roar was loud for the Women's Football World Cup announcement, wait until you hear the thunderclap when Brisbane gets the 2032 Olympics.
It might be a couple of years away but it's more likely to happen than not. The Games are Brisbane's to lose. If Queensland wants them badly enough they will get them.
Not because Queensland wants the Games but because the Games want Queensland. Or at least their big bosses do.
It seems there are two obstacles standing in the way of Brisbane getting the Games and one of them is out of Brisbane's control.
If the Tokyo Olympics, put back from this year until next, cannot go ahead due to COVID-19 concerns - this is a major issue - Tokyo could be put back to 2032 given that Paris and Los Angeles have already been given the 2024 and 2028 Games.
Brisbane would then be forced to bid for the 2036 Games, which is too far away to get obsessed about.
But a decision on 2032 is looming within the next two years.
What is in Brisbane's control is a willingness to go all out and get the Games.
Some politicians such as Bob Katter claim the Games bid is outrageous because Australia lies in recession in the post-COVID era and Queensland, in particular, cannot afford it.
It is a fair question to ask - and keep asking all the way - but the opposite may yet prove closer to the truth.
Under strict new protocols designed to enhance rather than financially destroy the host region, the plan is to make the Games cost-neutral.
Brisbane officials got a taste of the next plans when they said to a high-ranking Olympic official the Games would leave them $900 million in the red - $400 million from the Olympics and $500 million from the Paralympics.
"We will settle that from broadcasting fees,'' came the reply. "Anything else?''
Boom. Boom. A $900 million dollar guarantee just like that. It seemed almost too good to be true.
Maybe it was, but things are changing. Olympic budgets are renowned for spiralling out of control.
Today's $900 million break square figure could double by 2032 and shock no one.
Brisbane's Games bid has a million threads but there are really only two words that matter ... "cost neutral.''
If the Games break square then the state will benefit enormously from the 10-year countdown and the once sleepy old Brissy, where you had to eat at the Pancake Manor or the Tortilla if you wanted some late grub on a Sunday night in the 1980s, would become a city of global attention.
Significantly, hours after the announcement that Australia would host the women's World Cup, Australian Olympic boss John Coates released press release with the subtle message that this would be a springboard to bigger things.
"I can see a ten-year runway taking us from 2023 with the Women's Football World Cup ... and ultimately the jewel in the crown with the Olympic Games in Brisbane in 2032,'' Coates said.
"There's no question the world looks at Australia as a sports loving country, capable of delivering the biggest events to the highest standard. We are viewed as a very safe pair of hands.
"The potential for this golden decade is extraordinary. Discussions are paused as the world deals with the pandemic but at an appropriate point, we will reconvene and put forward are credentials to deliver an Olympic Games in Queensland that meets the IOC's goal of an affordable Games that will be cost neutral from an operational perspective''.
Cost neutral. There are those words again. The ones which matter most.
GOOD: The wave of euphoria which swept Australia when it was announced as the winning bid for the 2023 Women's Football World Cup. As society battles with the decimation of the COVID era, this was a truly uplifting moment.
BAD: The unrest in netball over a new rule which introduces a two-point shot. The purists are blowing up but it will liven up the game. Sports need to be more inventive with their rules to engage fickle fan bases.
UGLY: The fallout to Novak Djokovic's horrendous COVID sabotaged tennis tournaments in Croatia featuring minimal social distancing, wrestling on basketball courts in practice, handshakes and generally arrogant behaviour. And players suddenly became positive ... fancy that.
Originally published as World Cup first step for next Aussie Olympics