Battle for 2024 Games enters ‘final straight’

Host of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, Los Angeles joins Budapest and Paris in the final ...
Host of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, Los Angeles joins Budapest and Paris in the final bidding for the 2024 edition (AFP Photo/MARK RALSTON)

Los Angeles, Budapest and Paris delivered their third and final candidate dossiers to host the 2024 Games to the International Olympic Committee on Friday.

Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest “officially entered the final straight in the bidding process,” the IOC announced in a statement.

The three cities can now embark on their most aggressive publicity campaigns yet.

Frontrunners Los Angeles and Paris are launching into the fray straight away. Budapest is waiting until mid-February while its leaders seek to head off the threat of a city referendum on the bid.

The 2024 hosts will be announced at the IOC’s 130th Congress in Lima on September 13.

The three remaining candidates in the race to stage sport’s greatest spectacle will undergo visits by IOC bid inspectors.

Los Angeles is first to be put under the microscope on April 23-25, followed by Budapest (May 10-12) and Paris (May 14-16).

The IOC bidding commission’s final report will then be sent to all IOC members to study and be made public before a July 11-12 meeting of the IOC and sporting federations.

As Paris were depositing their completed bid security in the City of Light was under the spotlight after a soldier patrolling at the Louvre museum shot and seriously injured a machete-wielding attacker.

Paris has been the target of a series of attacks. In January 2015 17 people died in three days of bloodshed when jihadist gunmen rampaged through the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper and a Jewish supermarket.

Ten months later, gunmen and suicide bombers from the Islamic State jihadist group attacked bars, restaurants, a concert hall and the national stadium, killing 130 people.

Meanwhile in California, LA 2024 chief Casey Wasserman, on Thursday sought to downplay the furore over the travel restrictions imposed by US President Donald Trump, insisting “sports is not about politics”.

Friday’s three dossiers arriving at IOC headquarters in Lausanne related to “Games Delivery, Experience and Venue Legacy”.

They concentrate on the proposed legacy of their bids. They must give a firm outline of how the Games and Paralympics would go ahead and details on transport, accommodation, security and what athletes and spectators can expect.

Budapest’s bid is under threat of a citizen-led call to hold a referendum on the Hungarian capital’s suitability to stage an event of this magnitude.

In Paris, French media reported that the French capital’s bid had promoted its fair ticket pricing for fans.

According to L’Equipe half of all tickets would be under 50 euros (£43, $54) and much of those would be under 20 euros.

Los Angeles and Paris both vaunt the fact that most of their sites are already built, with the American city even turning to stadia used for its 1984 Games.

Budapest is making promises to provide global standard facilities.

Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Games, and missed out to London for the 2012 Olympics.

Los Angeles have also staged two Olympics, in 1932 and 1984.

Whichever city is chosen it will succeed Tokyo, the host of the next Games in 2020.

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Story By AFP
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