Budapest City Council Approves 2024 Olympic Bid List Of Venues

tarlos_istvan_mtikovacstamas_vagott_640x480Wednesday Budapest’s city council approved the list of venues to be included in its bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.  The Municipal Assembly backed the proposed site selection with 21 in favor, one opposed and 9 abstentions.

Included in the project is the construction of a 60,000-capacity stadium for track and field, a velodrome, a tennis complex with a 10,000-seat main court, and temporary facilities downtown for events such as beach volleyball and archery.

The track and field stadium, which would also host the Opening and Closing ceremonies, would be located just south of the city centre, near the Olympic Park to be built on Csepel Island in the Danube River.  The park would also hold the tennis complex, a track for BMX racing, and the Olympic Village which would house up to 17,000 athletes, coaches and others.

Many of the venues are planned to be temporary, while others will be scaled back after the Games.  Capacity at the track and field stadium would be cut to 15,000.

The Ferenc Puskas Stadium, now being rebuilt to host the 2020 European Championships, would host the Olympic soccer finals.

Ferenc Puskas Stadium is proposed to host Football finals should Budapest host the 2024 Olympic Games (Wikipedia Photo)

Ferenc Puskas Stadium is proposed to host Football finals should Budapest host the 2024 Olympic Games (Wikipedia Photo)

Several events, including golf, rowing and equestrian, and the preliminaries of basketball, hand ball and soccer, would be held outside Budapest.

Documents show that the venue concept fits into existing urban development plans for the city and region and the infrastructure development isn’t just for the Olympic Games.

A feasibility study published last year estimated development costs for the Olympics at 1.074 trillion forints ($3.7 billion), with net costs after the sale of venues and other revenue calculated at 774 billion forints ($2.7 billion).

Also on Wednesday the council rejected a proposal by opposition parties to hold a referendum on the bid.  The opposition said it was worried about the lack of transparency and the risk of corruption surrounding the Olympic project.

The Hungarian Supreme Court last week blocked a possible referendum earlier approved by a Budapest voting committee that could have been schedule as early as spring after the collection of 140,000 signatures.  Opponents have vowed to continue efforts to let voters decide.

Budapest’s 2024 bid rivals include Los Angeles, Paris and Rome but Hungary’s capital is the only one of the four cities that has never hosted an Olympics.  The four bids are required to submit their first set of plans and guarantees to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by February 17.

The IOC will elect the host city September 2017 in Lima, Peru.