On Tuesday of this week Rome officially withdrew itself from consideration for hosting the 2024 Olympics. Los Angeles has been in the mix all along, and with a narrowing field, it could help the California city’s chances.
Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest are the remaining candidates to host the games. A story in the LA Times says the International Olympic Committee is made up of Western Europeans, and that could weigh heavily in favor of Paris or Budapest, and in that case the Italians’ withdrawal would not mean very much. Still, Los Angeles is a serious candidate and could eventually win the prize.
The Olympic Committee has had trouble getting applicants to host the games. The press release said local government opposition was the primary reason Rome pulled out. The Rome City Council withdrew its support recently, and that made it virtually impossible to host the games there. Also earlier in the year, Virginia Raggi was elected Mayor of Rome, and was running on the single issue of opposing hosting the Olympics.
Also earlier this year, Hamburg, Germany voters turned down hosting the games in a referendum vote.
Boston also withdrew from consideration last summer. Four other cities have also withdrawn over the past year.
The IOC has added some reforms that they hope will make hosting the games less expensive. While it is an honor to hose the Olympics, it is very costly and some have raised concerns about whether it is worth it to get the prize. Many cite the tremendous cost of hosting the games, and say the financial risk is too great. The prestige of hosting the games has value, but if the city goes broke in the process, it will have a hard time justifying winning the right to host the games.
Los Angeles and Paris have been the favorites all along, and this will not change that impression.
The Los Angeles committee issued a press release saying it was disappointed in hearing that Rome had withdrawn as a candidate. It said Rome had been a good candidate and they praised the Italian city for its professionalism.
Rome officials did hold out a small hope they could resurrect their campaign, but for now they have decided to suspend the effort.