ing office buildings, a museum, university campuses
and a 600-seat contemporary dance theater. The
program is scheduled to close by 2022.
Following London’s lead, Rio’s Organizing Committee designed many facilities to be repurposed.
For instance, the International Broadcast Center
will become a high school dormitory, and the 300-
acre (121-hectare) Barra Olympic Park will become
a combination of public parks and private development sites.
South Korea envisions the 2018 Olympics as part
of a larger plan to make the Pyeongchang region
a top destination for winter sports enthusiasts
across East Asia by 2032. The government plans to
invest US$3.1 billion through a two-phase plan that
includes 40 projects.
But no matter how early the planning process
begins, Olympic host cities and their project teams
should anticipate surprises. For instance, South
Korea’s government had to come up with extra
funds and extra terrain when the IOC added eight
competitions to its freestyle skiing and snowboard-
ing events, bringing the total to 20. The country’s
original bid to host the 2018 games was based on
fielding 12 competitions in this area.
To guard against the unknown, future host cities
should make project management a priority in the
earliest stages of the bid process, Mr. Timmermans
says. “Bring project management experts into the
conversations from the very beginning of planning
to help validate assumptions about cost, schedule
and feasibility.” The earlier project managers join the
team, the less likely the final months will be a mad
dash to the finish line. PM
Bidding to host the Olympics is a time-consuming civic workout— and some cities don’t make it to the finish line. Two of the five candidate cities for the 2024 Summer Games
withdrew their bids over concerns about
financial risks and other potential negative
impacts. That leaves just three contenders:
Paris, France; Budapest, Hungary; and Los
Angeles, California, USA.
Bill Hanway of AECOM, which created the master plans for the Olympics
parks in London and Rio de Janeiro and
helped prepare Los Angeles’ bid, says the
LA2024 Bid Committee team has focused
on a number of issues since the application process began in 2015. These include
innovation, transportation, safety and
managing costs. (The bid process will cost
approximately US$50 million, all paid for
by private donors.)
“Los Angeles is blessed with an amazing
number of world-class venues
and stadiums, and we are
taking full advantage of these
existing facilities,” says Mr.
Hanway, executive vice president and global sports leader,
AECOM, Los Angeles. He serves
as lead design and technical
consultant to the committee.
“The ability to use those exist-
ing facilities rather than build
new ones is a key component of
the LA2024 bid as it showcases
Los Angeles’ ability to manage costs more
Touting its bid as “high-tech, low-risk
and sustainable,” LA2024’s applica-
tion doesn’t include a traditional single
Olympic Park. Instead, the bid proposes
four separate “sports parks” spread across
the city, all of which would rely on existing
venues supported by temporary ones.
Still, the state of California has offered
clear support for the delivery of the 2024
games, which in December LA2024 estimated to cost US$5.3 billion. Last year, the state’s
governor signed a law to contribute US$250
million to the games to cover cost overruns.
The International Olympic Committee will announce the winning bid for the
2024 Summer Games in September 2017.
Applying to host the Olympic Games is a project unto itself.
“Having an empowered PMO to manage all of
the project teams made all the difference.”
—Luciana March Detoie, PMP, Civil House State Government, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil