LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – The race to host the 2024 Olympic Games gets under way in earnest Wednesday, with the four bid cities — Budapest, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome — presenting their initial candidature files to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The first step in an 18-month campaign to host one of the world’s top sporting events will be a lowkey affair with IOC president Thomas Bach and leading officials currently attending the Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer.
Bids will be transmitted by USB key to IOC headquarters in Lausanne, with Los Angeles and Budapest deciding not to mark the occasion, unlike Paris and Rome.
Los Angeles, the 1984 Olympic host, will publish its bid online once the IOC has confirmed receipt.
The ceremony in California took place on Tuesday with the unveiling of the city’s official logo, a week after the Paris delegation unveiled its logo at a special ceremony in front of the Arc De Triomphe.
The Los Angeles bid is in line with Olympic Agenda 2020 which targets cost reduction. Existing installations such as the Staples Center, the LA Coliseum, the Rose Bowl, and university stadiums will be used. Athletes will be housed on the UCLA campus.
No ceremony will take place in Budapest where opponents, fearing spiraling costs and risks of corruption, tried to force a citizens referendum to block the bid, like in Hamburg.
The Hungarian capital has announced a modest budget of €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) to build infrastructure.
By contrast, Rome and Paris will mark the handover. The Eternal City is getting things rolling early at the Palazzo dei Congressi, the fencing venue at the 1960 Games.
Rome bid president Luca Di Montezemolo will preside over a ceremony to be broadcast on state-owned television RAI.
With the Colosseum as its emblem and the city’s major tourist attractions as venues, the Italian capital will build on its strengths and existing infrastructure to avoid, like its rivals, unnecessary and unpopular costs.
Paris — which suffered a traumatic loss to London for the 2012 Games — will unveil its bid in the afternoon at the city’s new Philharmonie.
Bid committee president Bernard Lapasset will confirm a budget of €3.2 billion for infrastructure, with existing stadiums and arenas being used along with landmark Paris monuments like the Grand Palais and the Trocadero.