Why Were Voters Against the 2022 Munich Winter Olympics in a Referendum?

Dennis Coates and Pamela Wicker

In Munich, a referendum on a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics was held in November 2013 and failed. This study analyzes the determinants of the percent of favorable votes using secondary data from all 52 communities involved in the referendum. The evidence suggests that potential host communities tended to have larger vote shares in favor of putting in a bid as did communities with higher rates of unemployment. In communities with a high share of votes for the Green and the Leftist party in the federal state elections, the percent of favorable votes for the Olympic bid was significantly lower. Moreover, the negative effect of the number of hotel beds per capita suggests that voters were concerned with crowding-out of regular tourists during the Olympics. Local politicians and bidding committees could use this information to better understand the local population and to improve their support for hosting Olympic Games.