Tuesday, November 12, 2013

They Just Said No

They had a vote Sunday here in Germany.....well....down in Bavaria anyway.  It was a unique and unusual type of vote.

Around the city of Munich, and the outlying towns of Garmisch, Traunstein and Berchtesgaden.....a vote occurred to determine if the region would go ahead and position themselves for the 2022 Winter Olympics.  It would have been a package deal, where the government put funds in to build the team and advertise toward getting nomination from five or six major regions of the world.  To be honest, more than half of the structures needed for the operation.....are already in existence.  So the cost factor would have been reasonable.

Weeks ahead of this vote, there's been a fairly significant "no" group going around and talking up the negative issues with bringing the Olympics to the area.  It's typically a four-year period of construction, road issues, and stress for any community that accepts the Olympics.

The "no" folks were successful.  The vote on Sunday went against the idea of a bid.

This all kinda shocked the local political figures and journalists.  Most folks were anticipating some negative voting and maybe up around one-third of the population thinking this way.  In this case, from all four areas voting...."no" won in the majority.

The basis for this stance?  I'd take a humble guess that local Germans evaluated how things worked in 1972 (their last Olympics).  Some of the older folks remembered the significant stress they endured.  Most of these locations already make a fairly decent amount of money off tourism and winter sports.....with no real desire to go beyond that point.  They are happy.....as is.

What this all meant, if it'd passed?  Billions of Euro would have been shipped off to the region.  Road money, new parking lots, new infrastructure projects, enhanced train stations, and for two brief weeks.....at least a million visitors to the local area, in the midst of winter who would have spent money like crazy on beer, food, and souvenirs.

The curious piece left over from this vote?  All across Germany, it's likely now being discussed if any major German town could survive such a vote, and perhaps there's an end point for any Olympics ever being held in Germany ever again.  This is probably why most countries don't ever allow a vote to occur, and they just allow representatives to vote on such things, not the public.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm living in the region where you could vote and there is actually much more behind this issue than you suggest. It's not a bad experience from the games in 1972 but from experiences made at the former biddings (1992 and 2018) as well es experiences from other places which were host of the Olympic Games. It's mostly a matter of demands from the side of the IOC. People in Bavaria feel that the postulation of the IOC have come to a state which are not compatible with reality any longer. Best example: It would have been forbidden to sell Bavarian beer as the IOC has contracts with Budweiser. This would be the same as if it was forbidden in the US to sell Coke instead of a lousy German Lemonade. People do also fear that after the Games hotels and other facilities will not be used any longer as the winter sports is going back in the region because of the soft winters, the need for articial snow would be more demanding which is a big issue of the Naturschutz over here. Besides, people are fed up with events which are becoming bigger and bigger. It's not the Olympic Games which people over here do not want but the way they have to be planned and promoted by requirements of the IOC. But I doubt that the IOC is going to think about this topic.