Turkey to bid for 2020 Games

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A senior Turkish sports official confirmed that Istanbul will bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, speaking at the Sports Event Management Conference in London on 10 November 2009.

Government sports official Mehmet Atalay believes that Turkey has learnt from former Olympic bids and is confident of convincing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that 2020 will be the right time to award the Games to Istanbul. Atalay said: "We strongly believe that we are going to have the best bid for 2020. Istanbul has changed a lot and we feel much more confident to be in a race with other cities. Turkey is a big country and it has much potential for hosting such events. We have the history. We have the culture. We are the bridge between Europe and Asia. "Turkey has recently hosted high profile sports events such as the 2005 Champions League final and is set to stage the 2010 World Basketball Championships, 2011 Winter University Games and 2012 World Indoor Athletics Championships. Senior Turkish officials have travelled the world to learn what was needed to be competitive for an Olympic bid, with Turkey making unsuccessful attempts to win the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. Atalay added: "Infrastructure–wise, Istanbul has improved a lot. Transportation has improved. Weather pollution is almost finished. It's one of the most secure cities in Europe. We are getting experience at organising major events. "Like London we have the history, the culture and the organisational experience. Also, we are the bridge between Europe and Asia and the proof is that different cultures and different religions live side by side in a friendly environment. We decided not to bid for 2016 while we concentrated on trying to make sure we had everything in place to launch a serious attempt for 2020. We think that if we keep pursuing this goal then, ultimately, we will achieve it. " Meanwhile, also speaking at the at the Sports Event Management Conference '09, London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton announced ambitious targets for ticketing revenue and sponsorship whilst confirming cost–cutting moves for two sports as LOCOG adjusts following the recession. Deighton confirmed that almost nine million tickets will go on sale for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2011 and are expected to raise around £400m with a strategy being implemented which will target genuine fans for each competition. Deighton said: "We will be very focused over the next 12 months on getting our ticketing strategy right, priced well enough to meet our revenue targets with lots of opportunity to make them affordable and accessible for people who don't have the deepest of pockets. We are building business plans for each of the sports to make sure that we can get tickets in the hands of the people who most want to be there. " Despite the recession, LOCOG is aiming to raise up to £700m in private sponsorship revenue, despite the current financial crisis. He added: "I don't think any of us expected to be out there raising private money to put on the Games in the worst economic environment we've seen in century. The toughest bit is to raise the private sponsorship as you have to do in this early period and that's where we have been incredibly focused. If I can point to the most gravity defying accomplishment of the project so far it's raising that money in the light of extraordinarily difficult economic conditions. It says a lot about the power of the Olympic and Paralympic brands, it says a lot about the appetite of this country to be involved in making this an incredible success. "Deighton also confirmed that badminton and gymnastics will now take place at Wembley Arena in North London, in a move aimed at reducing costs by building temporary venues. Despite concerns over the additional travel time from the Olympic Park, Deighton is confident that the national federations and International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be happy following a recent trial run. Deighton said: "In this economic environment it's not really acceptable to taxpayers to build a temporary venue when you already have an acceptable one if the trade–off is another 20 minutes travel time. It's hard when people are losing their jobs to say that we were not prepared to send athletes another 15 minutes on the road and that we'd rather spend a lot more money and build something that we are then going to take down. The journey when we made it took 42 minutes which, frankly, is an acceptable time. "Sports Event Management '09 is considered a key event for representatives of national and international sports governing bodies, specialist event management companies, local authorities, stadium and facility owners and operators, media companies, sports marketing agencies and the companies who provide the technology, infrastructure and services which make events tick. Attendees this year included: Sir Craig Reedie (Member of the International Olympic Committee Executive Board); Paul Deighton (Chief Executive Officer, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games); HE Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al–Thani (Secretary General, Qatar Olympic Committee); Sandy Hollway AO (CEO of Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games); Francis Tellier (CEO, Host Broadcast Services–FIFA broadcast partners); John Parker (Managing Director, Match Services–Tour Operator Programme for the 2010 FIFA World Cup TM); Paul Williamson (Head of Ticketing, London 2012) and Steve Elworthy (Tournament Director for the ICC World Twenty20 England 2009). This was the fourth Sports Event Management Conference with next year's event scheduled for 3 and 4 November. The event was followed by the SportBusiness Sports Event Management Awards, held at Lord's Cricket Ground. The city of Melbourne received the accolade of best sporting city in the world at the Awards ceremony. Melbourne got the nod ahead of Berlin and Doha. Victorian Tourism and Major Events Minister Tim Holding said it was a great achievement for Melbourne to win the gold medal in the Sports City category at the awards, now in its third year. " This award confirms what we have all known for a long time – no other city puts on a major sporting event like Melbourne, " Holding said. " You only had to be at Flemington last week for the Melbourne Cup or be at Kingston Heath this week to see Tiger Woods and Geoff Ogilvy competing in the Masters to see our major events strategy on show. " He said the judges have recognised the passion that Melburnians and Victorians have for sport and major events. Melbourne's sports calendar over the next two years include the Socceroos' last match on Australian soil in June before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the UCI Road World Cycling Championships next October and the 2011 Presidents Cup golf tournament, to be played at Royal Melbourne. The other award winners were as follows:Brand Presentation–MasterCard Europe for the UEFA Champions League Final 2009Event Look–Fast Track for the UK School GamesEvent Marketing–ICC World Twenty20 Team for the ICC World Twenty20 2009Event Overlay and Facilities–GL Events for the FIFA Confederations Cup South AfricaEvent Services–Creative Technology for the PGA European Tour–Race to DubaiHospitality and Travel–Twickenham Experience Rugby Hospitality from Keith ProwseMass Participation–Nova International for the BUPA Great Manchester RunSecurity–Sword Event Guard International for the Volvo Ocean race, the Galway Stopover FestivalSports Event Innovation–The All England Tennis and Croquet Club for the Wimbledon Centre Court roofOutstanding Contribution–Gilbert Felli

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