2027 European Games in Split? City Wants to Host Multi-Sport Spectacle

By 30 September 2021
2027 European Games in Split? City Wants to Host Multi-Sport Spectacle
Wikimedia Commonss

September 30, 2021 - 2027 European Games in Split? The Split Olympians Club is moving fast to ensure the city hosts this multi-sport spectacle. 

Split wants to host the 2027 European Games! It is a new multi-sport spectacle held in Baku in 2015, Minsk in 2019, and Krakow in 2023. Split wants to organize this competition in 2027, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

"This is a time of decision, a turning point. We are deciding whether Split will become a big periphery or a small metropolis," said Željko Jerkov, the Split Olympians Club president.

Behind the idea is the Split Olympians Club, whose president is celebrated water polo player Milivoj Bebić. He and Jerkov, secretary of the Split Olympians Club Josip Reić, and great handball player and today coach Petar Metličić, met with the City of Split.

"We spoke with Deputy Mayor Antonio Kuzmanić, and as soon as possible, we will go to Rome together to the headquarters of the European Olympic Committees and get all the first-hand information about the type of candidacy, indicative costs, and how it should be held. Lots of technical details to prepare a presentation for the City Council, whose support we need, with the support of the Government of the Republic of Croatia," Jerkov said.

"We talked to Prime Minister Plenković, and he is absolutely behind us, as is the president of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Zlatko Mateša. These are games that are four times bigger than the Mediterranean Games, but just right for today's Split."

Why does Split need them?

"First, we have a great memory of the Mediterranean Games in the city. They have transformed this city; we think that for our type of city, one such, in fact, the largest multi-sport event in Europe, would be ideal for progress. We need a big manifestation."

How many should new facilities be built?

"The motto of these Games is not to build new facilities, but to integrate existing ones into the Games. There is no Olympic Village, the high costs borne by the Olympic Games are becoming more modest, but the Games themselves are crucial.

That is why many sports use them as qualifications for the Olympic Games. The Mediterranean Games lacked that sporting part, the flow to the Olympics. Maximum sporting feats must be achieved here."

What sports would be in Split?

"It is about 15 sports, but we can have 20 of them, we choose, but the basis is to enter sports that qualify for the Olympic Games through those Games. Then we can add something of our own. But the first is to address funding models."

How much will the Games cost?

"There are several financing models, that's why we are going to Rome. We can withdraw a lot of money from European funds. Now sports facilities can be financed with money from EU funds; one part will be provided by the state and the European Olympic Committee. We have to agree on that, the financing, then there are television, marketing rights. We choose the modality."

All the details will be learned in Rome.

"Then a serious organizing committee should be formed, first for the candidacy, and then for the implementation of the Games. But, first, we will put everything on the table for the City. Then make, make a presentation for the City Council, which should then, familiar with all the details, decide for the organizers of the European Games."

With money from the funds, from the European Olympic Committee, and from the state budget, the current sports facilities would be renovated. 

"The reconstruction of Poljud would certainly take place, the athletic stadium in the Youth Park would be renovated, we believe that the completion of the Spaladium Arena project would be possible, and the halls in the Gripe complex would also be renewed."

Given that there is a possibility of withdrawing funds outside the city budget, isn't this a chance to construct sports facilities lacking not only for athletes but also for the standard of living in Split?

"We believe that a real gymnasium could finally be built, then a new hall in the east of the city, so that Split, which has an incredible tennis tradition and results, finally gets indoor tennis courts."

It would be like the Mediterranean Games in Split 50 years later.

"That's right; we are going there with Deputy Mayor Kuzmanić first. Let's go for first-hand information so as not to be told. It is the fairest way to find out what that means there. We in the Split Olympians Club already know a lot; that's why we proposed and hold that this is a huge project for the new Split, as I said, to become a small metropolis," concluded Jerkov.

They now must collect all the relevant data and submit it to the city councilors. This is an excellent opportunity for the city to make a significant infrastructural step forward. The Mediterranean Games brought not only new sports facilities but also the Marjan tunnel.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.