Will Berlin Olympics happen again, eighty-eight years later? Indeed the city is working on a new Olympic bid for 2024, or potentially 2028. We are still at an early stage, and there are, as usual, many contestants, including Boston, Los Angeles, Lima, Paris, Doha and, within Germany, Hamburg. This list is likely to get narrowed down to a handful as decision day gets closer, sometime in mid 2017. After London in 2012, Rio in 2016 and Tokyo in 2020, the field is wide open between European and US cities in particular.
Clearly, the ongoing delay in finalising the new Berlin-Brandenburg airport may speak against Berlin’s ability to cope with another major endeavour and cause scepticism. However, there are also reasons to believe that Berlin is a very strong candidate and stands good chances. First, the city already has infrastructure in place and would be one of the cities hosting the Olympics for a second time. Second, the city has attracted a growing amount of visitors and investment over the last decade, and undergone significant regeneration. Third, the surrounding region is optimal for Summer games, with good transport links and easy access to lakes, rivers, significant amounts of green space and good infrastructure (remember Leipzig’s Olympic bid not so long ag0). Last but not least, the very airport debacle could turn into an advantage for the city, with the old Tegel aiport potentially being converted into the Olympic village and a long-term plan for Tegel’s regeneration and conversion into a tech city beyond the Olympics.
This itself could further boost Berlin’s regeneration, as London’s Olympics did with the city’s deprived East, by transforming areas such as Stratford and parts of Hackney. Similarly, poorer areas around Tegel, such as Wedding or Reinickendorf, or even Spandau further West could see significant benefits.
For the city’s visitors today, the Berlin Olympics ambition is still far away. For investors, on the other hand, it could represent a major opportunity for ten more years of significant increases in Berlin property prices.