Officials from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will begin another round of inspections this week of 2030 Olympic bid hopeful Sapporo, Japan.
During the three-day visit, IOC officials are scheduled to review the city’s transportation system, ingress and egress from venues along with other infrastructure inspections.
The three-member team plans to visit 16 venues in Japan’s norther region of Hokkaido, of which Sapporo is the capital.
Sapporo, which hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, already has world class ski venues in place, while bobsleigh and sledding are proposed to be held in Nagano, which hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics.
The IOC’s visit will focus on gathering feedback for the members of the Future Host Commission about the conditions of the current conditions of the facilities in Hokkaido.
The region is renowned for its ski facilities, especially Rusutsu and Niseko, which are praised by skiers and snowboarders worldwide as some of the best quality snow in the world.
The Niseko facility specifically will be toured as it is slated to host the alpine and downhill ski events. The island’s southwestern city of Obihiro will also be on the docket as it would host the speed skating competitions.
The existing infrastructure bolsters Sapporo’s hopes under the new IOC guidelines bid process.
The only venue that will not be toured is the Sapporo Dome, which is currently occupied with the J1 professional soccer season.
The Sapporo Dome has already been vetted by the IOC and would only conduct the opening and closing ceremonies of the winter games.
“It is no longer about building something for the event, but it’s about hosting the event to build the city,” noted Yasuhiro Yamashita, the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) noted earlier this month.
Sapporo also impressed the IOC during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics as the host venue for race walking and the marathon.
In addition to Salt Lake City, Utah, which has already hosted the IOC in its proposed bid, Vancouver, Canada and Spain’s Aragon region have also expressed their interest in hosting the Winter Olympics in 2030.
The IOC may choose the venue for the 2030 Winter Olympics during a meeting in Mumbai, India, in May 2023. The meeting will also give the IOC members approval for recommendations of its executive board.