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Germany's Olympic decision: Key Questions

Germany's Olympic chiefs are preparing to make a decision on which city will be put forward for the 2024 Olympic Games hosting rights. Here's what you need to know before the decision later.

So, you've heard about Germany's big Olympic decision this evening.

But what's the big deal and why does the decision matter?

Here are five questions before the decision is made in Frankfurt this evening at 19:00 CET.

What's happening?

Germany's Olympic Federation (DOSB) will meet in Frankfurt to decide whether to put forward Berlin, the capital, or Hamburg as its sole representative for the 2024 Olympic bidding process.

The meeting will see representatives from politics, religion, and trade unions, plus a experts from various sports disciplines and other stakeholders offering their thoughts on the rival proposals. Both cities will make short presentations to the panel.

What happens next?

On March 21, the DOSB will hold an extraordinary meeting in Frankfurt.

According to AFP news agency, eight DOSB executive members who will cast the final vote are: Alfons Hörmann (President), Stephan Abel (Vice-President), Ole Bischof (Vice-President of Sports Performance), Walter Schneeloch (Vice of Public Sports and Sports Development), Petra Tzschoppe (Vice of Women and Equality) Ingo Weiss (Chairman German Youth Sports), Christian Schreiber (Chairman of Athletes Commission) and Claudia Bokel (IOC member).

Referendums will take place in Berlin and Hamburg, most likely in September. A mini-guide of the German representative's proposals will be submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in January 2016, before the IOC's observer program rolls into town in the summer of that year.

The host city of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be confirmed in Lima, Peru during the summer of 2017.

How have the two bids been received in their respective cities?

The DOSB commissioned Forsa to carry out two polls to gauge the support within each city for staging the Olympic Games. The first survey was completed in September 2014, and the second last month. There are four key questions contained in the survey; each can be answered yes, no, or don't know.

The first question asked whether the citizen was in favor of hosting the Games. In September, just 48% of Berlin residents supported the idea, while 49% opposed it and 3% didn't know. In February's follow-up, 55% of Berliners backed the proposals, 39% opposed and 6% didn't know.

Meanwhile, Hamburg's residents comfortably backed the Olympic plans with 64% supporting the idea in February's second poll - an 11% hike on the September survey that had already seen majority support in favor of the event.

The second question asked respondents whether they supported staging the Olympic Games in Germany (regardless of which city). Most residents of both Berlin and Hamburg were in favor of the Games returning to the country for a third time.

Questions three and four were interlinked, with a focus on the legacy of the Games. Most residents of the two cities believed the Games would probably have a positive effect, though quite a lot of Berliners remained skeptical about whether the developments to the city's infrastructure would be beneficial given the cost.

What are the key details of Berlin's proposals?

Berlin has the tools for the Olympic Games: an Olympic Stadium, a Veledrome, an indoor pool, plus a dense transport infrastructure. Yet the city of Berlin has one problem standing in the way - debt. The German capital city has 59 billion euros in accumulated debt, and there has been skepticism from locals in the two Forsa surveys.

The state is forecasting that the Olympic bid would cost Berlin around two billion euros.

What are the key details of Hamburg's proposals?

Hamburg's plans are focused around sustainability, with venues in the city located within small distances of each other and designed to be used after the Games are over. Hamburg's residents appeared to be more positive about their city's interest in staging the event, compared to Berliners.

The city's aim is to promote urban development. Hamburg wants an Olympic Stadium that could seat 70,000 spectators, with a new district containing the other venues within a 30-minute walk or cycle ride. Another five stadiums would require reconstruction, including one for rugby that could seat 15,000 spectators.

Dissenting voices are coming from the Green Party, which wants the financing behind the proposals to be transparent. The city is looking for at least 30 billion euros to be set aside, which has been unpopular among several leading figures in politics.

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