Rome City Council Set To End 2024 Olympic Bid Thursday

Rome 2024 Olympic Bid LogoRome’s City Council will meet Thursday to consider Mayor Virginia Raggi’s motion to withdraw support from the city’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The motion is expected to pass easily in at vote following the meeting as the Mayor’s Five Star Movement party holds a majority at city hall and will likely support Raggi.  If approved, Rome’s Olympic bid will be effectively cancelled, forcing the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to withdraw its application from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) just days ahead of the submission deadline for stage 2 bid book documents.

Last week Raggi officially withheld her support for Rome’s bid calling any plans to move forward with it “irresponsible.”  Citing the poor economics and using slides to show a history of Games organized with huge deficits, Raggi made it clear that she believed staging the Games in Rome would be a huge risk.

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi (centre) removes support from Olympic bid at City Hall (Twitter Photo)

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi (centre) removes support from Olympic bid at City Hall (Twitter Photo)

Her comments came minutes after she unapologetically snubbed CON President Giovanni Malago and Italian Paralympic Committee President Luca Pancalli by arriving 35-minutes late for a planned one hour meeting to discuss the Olympic project.

“I still hope Rome will win this great challenge. There’s always hope,” bid Chief Luca di Montezemolo told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera Friday.

Since the Mayor’s declaration last week Rome’s bid committee has continued to campaign, especially using social media to underline the key benefits it believes support staging the Olympic Games.  Pointing to elements such as the potential large cash injection by the IOC, rejuvenated facilities for future generations, the transparency of the plans and environmental friendliness of the concept – the bid has vowed to move forward until the City Hall cancellation is official.

CONI President Malago said earlier this week that if Rome bows out now there will not likely be another bid for at least 20 years.

If Rome leaves the race it will be the second such withdrawal in four years for the Italian Capital and would leave just Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris in the campaign to host the Games in 2024.  The IOC will elect the host city September 13, 2017 in Lima, Peru.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-nominated journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil

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