Los Angeles has one less competitor in its quest to host the 2024 Olympics. Earlier today, Hungary’s government announced that it was withdrawing Budapest’s bid for the games, leaving Paris as LA’s last remaining challenger.
As Reuters reports, Budapest’s bid collapsed after a political movement called Momentum organized a strong resistance to the games and called for a referendum on the topic, collecting a quarter million petition signatures in the process. Recent polls suggested that about half of Hungarians supported withdrawing the bid.
That’s certainly in high contrast with Los Angeles residents, who have expressed overwhelming support for the bid. A poll last year from Loyola Marymount University indicated that 88 percent of residents want the games return to LA.
The city hasn’t hosted since 1984. But Paris has gone much longer. The last time that the City of Lights hosted was in 1924, giving Paris an apparent sentimental advantage over LA as it attempts to nab the games for the first time in a century.
Hungary is the second finalist to drop out of contention for the games, after Rome withdrew its bid in September. Many countries have recently become concerned about the economic ramifications of hosting the games, after lavish spending failed to pay off for host cities like Athens, where the financial failure of the games contributed to Greece’s economic collapse.
In light of these concerns, Los Angeles bid leaders have focused the city’s bid on financial sustainability. The plan for the games that the city has presented to the International Olympic Committee would rely exclusively on relatively inexpensive temporary facilities and venues that already exist—such as the Coliseum and the under-construction NFL stadium in Inglewood.
“We have to show the world there’s a very, very responsible and responsive way to host the games without huge expenditures,” AECOM Global Head of Sports Bill Hanway told Curbed in August. Master planner for the London and Rio games, Hanway is consulting on LA’s bid and believes the city can provide a model for a sustainable games.
The IOC will decide on a host city in September.
- Hungary to withdraw Budapest’s 2024 Olympic bid: government [Reuters]
- Los Angeles Residents Really Want the 2024 Olympics [Curbed LA]
- Can LA really win its Olympic bid? [Curbed LA]
- Mapped: the sites of LA’s Olympic bid [Curbed LA]