The Organization of European Capital Cities (OPCE) has approved an institutional declaration of support for the Madrid 2020 Olympic bid, according to the EFE. In the declaration, "the businesses of European capitals said that Madrid hosting the Games would mean a spark not only for the economy in Madrid and Spain, but also for the entire European economy." The OPCE considers the Madrid 2020 bid the "most solid and competent idea." The organization "confirmed that it would be in Europe's best interest for the Games to be held in Madrid because that would be beneficial for economic growth, job creation and the general progress of all Europeans." The OPCE's members include President Arturo Fernández of Spain and the business organizations of 12 European capitals: Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Rome, Vienna, Moscow, Lisbon, Madrid, Athens, Warsaw, Valletta (Malta) and Nicosia (Cyprus) (EFE, 7/22).
MADRID'S COMPETITION: In Madrid, Matilla & Jiménez reported the Madrid 2020 bid left a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on July 3 with "two clear feelings: there are now more options than ever for hosting the Games and, although Istanbul was very strong months ago, Tokyo is now the rival to beat." Last week, Tokyo 2020 was able to add two sponsors, Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. and Nippon Life Insurance, giving Tokyo 20 sponsors. But "there is more." Travel information company FlightStats has published a study that boasts that Tokyo airports Narita and Haneda "have been evaluated as those that accumulate the most traffic, and more importantly, are the world’s two most reliable major airports based on flight departure times." Tokyo 2020 CEO Masato Mizuno said, "Having the two best airports in the world in the same city is perfect support for why Tokyo can offer a fantastic and efficient Olympics" (AS, 7/22).