Tuesday the Italian Parliament voted to back Rome’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
A statement on the bid’s website read “today the Italian Parliament adopted by a large majority, a clear and indisputable position on the candidature of Rome to the Olympic Games of 2024. It is a strong yes, an expression of the popular will, which blows away controversies and gives to the city and the country an important opportunity for economic redemption and the revival of international image.
“We have the chance to show the world that Italy knows how to achieve its goals and is able, as happened with the 1960 Summer Olympics and more recently with Expo, to host highly successful events in total transparency. The Parliament’s vote is an act of responsibility for the future of the country, that wants to seize major challenges and is confident of achieving them with great effort and, above all, keeping in mind the new generations.”
Bid chairman Luca di Montezemolo and Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago have pointed to the nearly unanimous vote in favour of the candidacy by Rome’s city council last year, and an IPSOS poll promoted by the bid committee recently found that of the 2,200 people surveyed, 77 per cent of Italians are in favour of the bid.
Calls for a referendum remain from a minor radical party in Italy yet an online petition has failed to receive any significant traction, showing only 1,641 names. Last year Hamburg’s 2024 bid was withdrawn after a failed public vote and Boston’s was disbanded when polls failed to show support above 50 per cent.
Rome 2024 is reportedly promoting a cost-conscious plan relying on many of the same venues used in 1960 – like the Foro Italico complex featuring the athletics stadium plus aquatics and tennis arenas.
Montezemolo has announced a bid budget of 24.9 million euros ($27 million) – significantly less than Rome’s rivals, Budapest, Paris (both about $60 million) and Los Angeles, are planning to spend.
More detailed plans from the four bids will be released shortly after February 17 when the first volume of bid documents and guarantees are due into the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IOC will elect the host city for the 2024 Games in September 2017.