Monaco: The International Olympic Committee unveiled its timeline for candidates for the 2024 summer Games but President Thomas Bach said an invitation phase would precede it if changes to the bidding process are approved next week.
The IOC is eager to avoid a repeat of the 2022 winter Games bidding process in which four of the six candidates dropped out during the race over financial fears or lack of public support.
This left Beijing and Kazakhstan`s Almaty as the only candidates.
With neither being a global winter sports powerhouse, the need for changes in the bidding process, included in the Agenda 2020 of 40 recommendations designed to overhaul the Olympic bidding and organisation, has become clear.
The invitation phase, which is part of these recommendations, would allow cities to present their projects and discuss with the IOC prior to committing to two years of campaigning and millions of dollars of spending.
Cities have until Sept. 15 next year to officially put in a bid with the decision to be taken in the summer of 2017.
"If approved, this invitation phase will be added and will precede the phases the IOC Executive Board approved, following the procedure already in place," Bach told reporters on Saturday.
That would mean the potential bidders would have a clearer idea of what they would need to do and decide before bidding if the Games are a project worth following or not.
"We have heard positive discussions of potential bids in different countries and we wanted to give some certainty to national Olympic committees and countries about the timeline," Bach said when asked why the IOC had issued the timeline now.
Germany has confirmed it will bid with either Hamburg or Berlin for 2024, while the United States are more than likely to join the race with either Washington, Boston, Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Bids are also likely from Rome, Doha, Budapest, an African city, Paris and possibly Istanbul.