The Region of Murcia is one of Spain’s 17 Autonomous Communities or Autonomies for short, which include the better known Andalusia, Community of Madrid, the Basque Country or Catalonia. Murcia is the capital of the Region. With a population of circa half a million, Murcia is Spain’s seventh largest city only after Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza and Malaga. Besides Barcelona which was Olympic City in 1992, Madrid and Seville have unsuccessfully bid for the Olympic Games before.
I know my native Spain really well. In addition I lived in Murcia for fifteen years attending school at Santa Maria de Gracia (1980-1990) and Maristas La Merced (1990-1994, one of Spain’s top 100 private High Schools). Murcia is above all a great city to live in and its people friendly and Mediterranean. In terms of per capita and median income the Region of Murcia is Spain’s third poorest only ahead of Andalusia and Extremadura. Spain’s South has historically been poorest. The Region of Murcia boasts one of Spain’s most beautiful coastlines and “La Manga” a salteed lagoon with two seas: Mar Menor and the Mediterranean (Mar Mayor). Sailing and snorkelling are possible in the Mar Menor all year round.
The International Olympic Committee has struggled in recent years to find hosting cities willing to fund the Summer or Winter Games which in addition have popular support. Over the budget funding episodes have turned the Olympic Games unpopular, for instance, in Rio 2016. London (2012), Tokyo (2020), Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028) are all cities which have hosted the Olympic Games at least once before. The logic of awarding the Olympic Games to a city and region which will benefit from the tremendous input of funding aiming at a real estate and infrastructure turnaround is not present anymore. Over the budget episodes in which the Organizing Committee spends way over anticipated is infuriating citizens. Oftentimes investment benefits better off areas of the city where many of the sports facilities are chosen to be. In my first book published in 2010 I introduced the economic logic behind hosting a great sporting event in the book section “Economic Impact of Major Sports Events” (page 416).
The Region of Murcia’s coastline is superb, yet it is little known compared to that of Alicante, Malaga or Catalunya. The city of Murcia is very similar in architecture and urban land planning to Malaga or Valencia, yet it is little known internationally. The University of Murcia is one of Spain’s best, yet it is little known internationally. Many Britons and Scandinavians are purchasing real estate in Spain, but mostly in the Alicante and Malaga areas. Murcia’s visibility in the World will be catapulted to unheard of levels, something that can only be accomplished through hosting the Olympic Games.
The Olympic Games represent an incredible investment for the hosting city and country, yet only last two weeks, unlike the FIFA World Cup. I suggest that the Olympic Games span over four weeks and take place during the month of June or September if hosted by Murcia. Murcia has several advantages over any other candidate city:
Most of the sports facilities already exist with the sole exception of an Olympic Stadium. Murcia has an olympic size pool (Murcia Parque), indoor basketball stadium, a brand new football stadium (Nueva Condomina) and an incredible salted lagoon to host all sailing events. There is a newly build unused airport (courtesy of the current political establishment which as usual as little to no vision) and a myriad of golf cities that were built during the real estate boom (finishing in 2007), with thousand of empty beautiful Andalusian-type houses that remain today unsold and empty. These golf cities could become Olympic Villa with little investment. Intercontinental Hotel Mar Menor sits in the center of one of this Golf Cities.
The key individuals that I nominate to lead the Olympic candidacy are introduced next. A vision or dream requires the visionary or dreamer, et voila I am ready to put all of my vision and imagination to work at the service of all Murcianos. A complex project requires of the strategic mind, of a General Manager or Chief Executive: Antonio Campillo will play such a role, educated at ESADE and INSEAD, having worked for the strategy consultancy Bain & Company, the gentle Murciano Antonio Campillo is the best person for the job, along with Carlos Martinez Mozo (my High School classmate) boasting a double engineering diploma from ICAI and Ecole Centrale Paris and an MBA from Tuck.
The philanthropist will be Murcia’s top entrepreneur Tomas Fuertes, President of El Pozo, the largest firm of the Region. The architect designing the milestones of the candidacy will be Rafael Moneo, who already designed the internationally acclaimed Murcia City Hall. The Ambassador will be Ramon Luis Valcarcel, now Europarliamentarian, who for almost two decades served as President of the Region of Murcia.
The Leadership Team is completed with the University of Murcia Rector Jose Lujan Alcaraz, Polytechnic University of Cartagena Rector Alejandro Diaz Morcillo, University of Murcia School of Tourism Dean María Isabel Sánchez-Mora Molina, Murcia Hotel Association President Laura Mateo Vivancos, and La Manga Club President Pierre-Yves Gerbeau. Last but not least an extraordinary narrative needs two breathtaking Anchors Miss Murcia Athenea Perez and Miss Murcia Carmen Perez Costa.
But most important as in any competition what matters most to secure the win is the team. Away from politics (a governance paradigm which lacks meritocracy but most importantly lacks vision) I am setting up The Murcia Presidential Team. I am inviting the most extraordinary Murcianos –holding a Master’s degree from a foreign prestigious University and speaking English fluently– to send their Resume to [email protected] A total of 100 Murcianos will integrate this incredible team of Avengers, who will show the rest of Spain that a governance alternative beyond politics and the decrepit political party is today not only possible, but fundamentally necessary.