Budapest drops bid to host 2024 Olympic Games

Photo: Moyan Brenn/Flickr

23.02.2017

By Mads A. Wickstrøm
Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been withdrawn, a Hungarian government official confirms.

The decision to withdraw Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Games was made following a meeting on February 22 between the Hungarian Olympic Committee, Istyán Tarlos, Mayor of Budapest and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, according to Reuters.

A petition against the bid was signed by more than a quarter million people, with opponents saying the money would be better spent on public services such as schools and hospitals. In addition, a recent survey show that 50 pct. of Hungarians are against Budapest’s bid, with only 33 pct. of Hungarians in favour, according to information obtained by Inside the Games.

“In recent months, the earlier unity has broken down and the issue of the Olympics has turned from a national issue into a party issue. Opposition parties are responsible for this, those who backtracked on their earlier decision [to back the bid],” Istyán Tarlos said, according to Reuters.

In 2015, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed on a series of reforms, known as ‘Agenda 2020’. The reforms are meant to bring down the costs of hosting the Olympic Games and thus, make it more financially attractive for potential host cities. Supporters of Budapest’s bid for the 2024 Games have argued that the city is more qualified than its rivals to adapt to the IOC’s low-cost strategy.

Budapest is the latest city to pull out of the race to host the 2024 Olympics. Boston, Hamburg and Rome have already withdrawn their bids. As such, the race is now left with two candidate cities: Los Angeles and Paris. Earlier this month mayors from more than 50 cities around the world expressed their support for Paris as 2024 Olympic host.

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