Boasting that 95 per cent of its proposed 2024 Olympic Games venues are already built, or set to be temporary, bid leaders say Paris’ plans to host the Games will usher in a ‘new era’ and provide a ‘clear legacy’ from its project.
The Paris 2024 bid plans were revealed Wednesday at a ceremony at the new Philharmonie de Paris in front of 500 athletes and senior politicians including Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
“Imagine athletes competing in the gaze of the Eiffel Tower, world-famous venues such as Roland Garros and the Stade de France being the stage for Olympic glory, and the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean around Marseille welcoming Olympic Sailing,” bid Co-Chair Bernard Lapassett said of the plans.
“This gives you a sense of what Paris 2024 will be like – an incredible vista for athletes to excel, fans to cheer and viewers around the world to marvel at.”
The 40-page phase 1 bid book released Wednesday says the Games are proposed to be staged from August 2 to August 18, 2024.
The bid also launched a new, interactive website Wednesday with new features and branding to coincide with the video and images being presented at the ceremony.
But although Paris is one of the most favorite tourist destinations on Earth, bid organizers say the bid will be much more than history and scenery – the efficient and feasible sport plan will be trend-setting.
“The fact that 85% of athletes will be within 30 minutes of their competition venues and with 480 training venues within 30 minutes of the Athletes Village, competitors will have optimal conditions to train and perform,” Co-Chair Tony Estanguet said.
“Bercy Arena II, sister venue to the world-renowned indoor arena, and a new Aquatics Centre – a much-needed facility neighbouring the Stade de France – are the only sports venues we need to build.”
The French Capital has a lot at stake with this 2024 campaign. The city suffered consecutive losses with bids for the 1992, 2008 and 2012 Games, and after being the favorite in the latter and losing to London – the bid was criticized for being too conservative and seeming too entitled, and fronting the bid with politicians instead of athletes.
Paris came into the 2024 race as the media favorite, but Lapassett cringed last year when presented with that ominous possibility that often leads bids down unfortunate paths. Now LA, with its newly revealed sun-bound angel logo, has flown onto the scene to steal the spotlight.
But seemingly prepared in case of another defeat, the bid says it has already gained legacies from the bid process alone.
The Paris 2024 bid is already delivering tremendous benefits for both sports and society regardless of the hosting outcome.
The bid will support two “core zones” – the Paris Centre Zone and the Paris Saint-Denis Zone – and they will include Tennis at Roland-Garros, Athletics at Stade de France, Equestrian at the Chateau de Versailles, Beach Volleyball in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and Archery at the Esplanade des Invalides. The Media and Olympic Villages will be delivered in Seine-Saint-Denis, a region that needs new housing.
Unlike LA’s plans that will leverage existing and planned university housing for the athletes’ and media accommodations, Paris has proposed the villages as part of an urban renewal project that will need to be supported by new infrastructure and transport links – potentially adding additional risk to the project.
The Village will be financed through public and private funding, depending on each project’s long-term use. It is particularly attractive due to the long-term demand for additional housing in the region. – Bid Book
On Wednesday the IOC praised all of the plans for their sustainability. IOC Associate Director Jacqueline Barrett said “following Olympic Agenda 2020, the Candidate Cities are making use of an extremely high percentage of existing and temporary venues, possibly the most ever.”
The Paris bid book gives special attention to the terrorism category, especially following the horrific November attacks on the capital. Fully recognizing the events of that day, organizers say the terrorist threat is high but plans are being implemented to minimize it by 2024.
The [terror] risk is currently assessed as high but the French authorities are committed to ensure this risk is reduced to medium by 2024.
According to a January 2016 bid commissioned poll 80 per cent across France support the bid and 74 per cent are in favor in Paris – a strong level of support for a European city where there has been recent resentment against the Olympic movement.
There is overwhelming public support for the bid. There will be no referendum organised by the Bid Committee or its founding members. Further, a referendum on the Games cannot be forced by any legal mechanism.
Paris has planned to spend (USD) $72.3 to support its bid campaign, higher than the cap of $55 million set by Los Angeles. Agenda 2020 has helped implement cost-savings measures for the bidding process where recent costs have soared in excess of $100 million.
Files submitted by Paris along with those from Budapest, Los Angeles and Rome will now be evaluated by an IOC commission and results will be reported to the IOC Executive Board before the bid can proceed to the next stage in July. The IOC will elect a winner September 2017 in Lima, Peru.