Olympic Report Flags Tokyo Hotels, Istanbul Roads as Issues

An evaluation of cities bidding to host the 2020 Olympics flagged concerns including Tokyo’s hotel rates, traffic congestion in Istanbul and the ability of Madrid to raise sponsorship.

The issues were among those raised in a 105-page report published by the International Olympic Committee today. The Lausanne, Switzerland-based group will pick the host of the summer games on Sept. 7.

Tokyo is the favorite to be awarded the Olympics for the first time since 1964 with all seven bookmakers listed on the oddschecker.com website. Istanbul is the second-favorite and Madrid is the outsider, according to the website.

The report was compiled by an IOC committee that visited the three cities in March.

The committee said it was concerned about the “guaranteed maximum” hotel rates in Tokyo that would be as much as $1,634 per night for a double room in a five-star hotel and $571 in a three-star hotel.

Madrid’s estimated top rates were the cheapest of the three cities at between $626 for a five-star hotel and $218 for so-called budget accommodation including 3,000 university campus rooms.

The report said there was clear backing of Tokyo’s bid by Japanese business leaders.

Madrid Sponsorship

The committee was “cautious” about whether Madrid can meet its target of raising $694 million in sponsorships in Spain. The country is in the sixth year of an economic slump.

Madrid could also face challenges in turning landmark locations such as the Las Ventas bullring and Retiro Park into venues, according to the report.

In Istanbul, it said there’s a “high” risk of traffic congestion because of plans to stage sports in the European and Asian sides of the city. The Turkish city’s estimates for travel time to venues -- it says no trip will take more than 40 minutes -- were “somewhat optimistic.”

Istanbul’s plan for security is “adequate,” although a proposal to recruit 20,000 private security staff could be a challenge, according to the report, which was finalized on April 19 before a wave of anti-government protests.

Demonstrations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration erupted in late May in frustration over what protesters say is his increasingly authoritarian conduct and attempts to impose Islamic ways on the country.

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