Skip to content

IOC wraps up tour with “excellent impression” of Istanbul

Mar 27, 2013, 5:40 PM EDT

OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

Either every potential 2020 Olympic host city has done a fantastic job of wooing IOC with their plans, or the evaluation commission is keeping their true feelings under their hats while they prepare reports for the upcoming vote in Buenos Aires.

Still, IOC Vice President Craig Reedie said his group came away with an “excellent impression” of Istanbul after their four-day inspection of the city’s hosting capabilities, and said he witnessed “strong support” from the Turkish government, business community, and the country’s citizens.

The largest question mark during the visit was transportation, but Istanbul said it has $10 billion set aside for a third airport, a third bridge across the Bosphorus, new railways, and more roads to ease congestion, all of which they plan to do with or without the Olympics coming to town.

“Now we have a much better understanding of the tunnels, the metro, the buses [and] how people will be moved from one place to the other,” IOC executive director Gilbert Felli told the Associated Press. “We have a much better understanding of which projects have already started.”

Officials from Istanbul, Tokyo, Madrid will make one final pitch during an IOC meeting in St. Petersburg this May, before the members vote in September on which country to honor with the Olympics.

Featured video

Inside Michael Phelps' comeback