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IOC touches down in Madrid for evaluation

Mar 18, 2013, 12:21 PM EDT

PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy seemed pretty confident in Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics, as IOC’s evaluation commission arrived in the country’s captial Monday for a four-day inspection of the potential host city.

Prime Minster Rajoy reminded everyone that while people might be scared of the economic situation plaguing Spain, including Europe’s worst unemployment numbers, Madrid is accustomed to hosting large events and “has a great advantage: 80 percent of the sports facilities needed to hold an Olympic Games are already built.”

The Spanish Olympic Committee believes they bring the most “realistic” bid the table, with an estimated Games budget of less than $2 billion, which is half of Tokyo’s $4.5 billion, and nowhere near Istanbul’s $19 billion.

The SOC also has strong support from its citizens, as a new poll shows that 83 percent of Madrid, and 76 percent of Spain, believe the Games will have a positive impact on the country’s current situation.

Evaluators will spend the next four days looking at already standing venues, as well as finances and security to see if Spain has what it takes to host their first Olympics since the Barcelona Games in 1992.

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