Istanbul Competes With Tokyo, Madrid for 2020 Olympic Games

Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid today submitted their plans to host the 2020 Summer Olympics as the finalists compete to stage sport’s biggest event and attract millions of tourists to their cities.

Heads of the delegations handed in their bid books for the International Olympic Committee to evaluate before members tour proposed venues and make a final decision in Buenos Aires in September.

Istanbul, which has failed in four bids, stressed a growing economy and a young, sports-loving population as part of its $22 billion plan to bring the event to Turkey for the first time. Madrid said it would use mainly existing facilities and spend $1.9 billion as Spain tries to recover from an economic battering. Tokyo, host of the 1964 Olympics, promised innovation and safety as pillars of a bid with $4.5 billion in place to complete building projects.

The bids delivered to the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, run to several hundred pages and outline how each city will stage as many as 28 sports and accommodate athletes, dignitaries and tourists from more than 200 countries. The plans also describe the projected legacy of the event.

An evaluation commission will visit the cities in March, starting with a three-day trip to Tokyo. They will then move to Istanbul and Madrid, which lost out to Rio de Janeiro in the final vote for the 2016 games. The cities will have a chance to make a final pitch in July before the IOC announces the winner following an anonymous poll of its membership on Sept. 7.

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