The IOC released its evaluation of the bids for the 2012 Olympics yesterday, dishing out praise for the proposals of Paris and London. Paris is the odds-on favorite to host the games:
Paris, which hosted the 1900 and 1924 Games and failed in bids in 1992 and 2008, has been the favorite throughout the process and is rated 1-6 by Ladbrokes. London is second at 7-2, followed by Madrid at 16-1, New York at 33-1 and Moscow at 100-1. With 1-6 odds, a correct $6 wager pays $1.
It appears that London is a fall-back option at this point, with the following intruiging caveat: "The bookmakers' favorite has lost two of the past six bids partly because members sometimes vote for an outsider that may otherwise be humiliated, Michael Payne, the IOC's former marketing director, said in an interview last week." Now, favorites don't win all of the time, otherwise their odds would be 1-infinity, i.e. there would be no betting. But neverthless the marketing director's comment regarding sympathy for the outsider is somewhat bizarre. How many voting members are there? Even if there are dozens, don't they take their job seriously?
Issues surrounding the Olympic Stadium project in Manhattan must be resolved before New York becomes a serious contender. In contrast, support for the games appears to be strong in France.
A survey by ACNielsen Corp. in May showed 81 percent of French people support the Paris bid, compared with 68 percent of British people backing London and 44 percent of Americans supporting New York.