Five bidders embark on two-year race to land 2024 Games

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 16, 2015 3:18 AM

By Karolos Grohmann

(Reuters) - Five cities were officially named as candidates to host the 2024 Summer Olympics on Wednesday, with Los Angeles aiming to land their third Games and Hamburg, Paris, Rome and Budapest battling to bring the multi-sport extravaganza back to Europe.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), which will elect the winning bid at its session in Peru in 2017, announced the final list of bidders after the deadline for submissions ended at midnight (central European time) on Tuesday.

After a disappointing campaign for the 2022 Winter Games, where just two candidates stayed in the race after four others pulled out due to financial concerns or a lack of public support, the IOC is keen to restore the image of the Olympics as a lucrative prospect.

In a bidding race predicted to be the most hotly contested for at least a decade, Los Angeles, the United States' second choice after Boston pulled out amid fears over cost overruns, is hoping to stage the Games for a third time after 1932 and 1984.

Paris, which had a failed bid for the 2012 Olympics, is eager to stage its own centennial Games after hosting them for the second and last time in 1924.

Rome, the 1960 hosts, had briefly campaigned for the 2020 Olympics before the government pulled the plug over budget concerns, while Budapest is seeking to join Russia as the only Eastern European countries to land the Summer Games.

Hamburg, which will hold a referendum in November on whether the city actually wants the Games, is proposing an inner-city Olympics with venues within walking distance for athletes after it beat out Berlin in Germany's bid race. The German port has never hosted the Games before.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Peter Rutherford)