By an overwhelming majority, the Budapest municipal assembly voted Tuesday to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Prior to the vote, Zsolt Borkai, chairman of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB) and Balazs Furjes, government commissioner, spoke in favour of organizing the Games. In attendance were several top sportsmen, including Olympic champions.
MOB head Borkai emphasized that the era of expensive Olympics has come to an end with the declaration of the Agenda 2020 program, enabling a number of cities within a country to team up to host a “national Olympics”. He said the capital’s support is now necessary for the undertaking to proceed into its next stage.
Government commissioner Furjes argued that a feasibility study published recently showed that the surplus revenue generated by a possible Olympics would amount to HUF 1100 billion between 2015 and 2030, above the necessary state input of HUF 750 billion. Financing the Games would cost an average 0.5 per cent of the state budget each year, he said.
In his closing remarks Budapest mayor IstvanTarlos said that there are moments in which a nation has to show its ability to unite, adding that he had been skeptical about the bid, but the IOC’s Agenda 2020 program has provided a realistic opportunity to smaller countries and cities to host the world’s largest event. He said the Olympics could further improve Budapest’s already good reputation as a tourist destination.
Budapest 2024 now seeks national government approval, expected to be given next month, before it can be nominated to bid by the national Olympic committee. The deadline is September 15.
Other cities bidding for the 2024 Games include Boston, Hamburg, Rome and after officially declaring Tuesday – Paris.
The IOC will elect a winner at its session in Lima, Peru in 2017.