Mayoral Race Threatens To Quash Rome 2024 Olympic Bid

Rome's leading Mayorial Candidate Virginia Raggi (Twitter Photo)

Rome’s leading Mayorial Candidate Virginia Raggi (Twitter Photo)

Virginia Raggi, a leading candidate in next month’s mayoral election, continues to oppose Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games following a meeting with one of the candidacy’s organizers.

AP reports that Raggi, the Mayoral candidate with Italy’s populist Five Star Movement, met with Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago on Monday.  She says “we reiterated our view” that Rome must first deal with “everyday items” before trying to land the Olympics.

Two other candidates, centre-left candidate Roberto Giachetti and centre-right representative Giorgia Meloni support Rome’s bid.

Last month Raggi said “Rome today is a city on its knees, where fixing the potholes in the road has become a government project”.

“The IOC money isn’t enough to cover all the works and raising other funds involves mortgaging the future of residents”

According to recent polls Raggi has a narrow lead; the mayoral vote is scheduled for June 5.  Without the support of its Mayor, a bid from Rome would not be viable.

Referendum Roma 2024

Referendum Roma 2024

Last month the Italian Radical Party’s push for a referendum over the Olympic bid got an important boost when a municipal body approved the potential vote.  Referendum boosters are currently trying to collect the almost 30,000 signatures required for the referendum to move forward this summer.

A spokesperson for the pro-referendum group told “the Olympic project has some critical feasibility issues, and we doubt it even meets [IOC] criteria at the moment.”

“The City Council was not involved in the decision making process prior to the bid.”

Rome 2024 would have difficulties surviving a referendum.  Last year Hamburg was forced to drop out of the race when it was narrowly defeated in a vote and Boston held back an application when polls showed less than 40 per cent were behind the bid.

For the 2022 Olympic Winter Games Stockholm, Davos, Munich and Krakow were all held back by negative referendum results.

Rome is locked in four-way race with Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris to host the 2024 Olympic Games.  The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will select a winner September 13, 2017 in Lima.

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