The city of Rome has officially entered the race for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games by submitting a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday.
Mayor Ignazio Marino, bid leader Luca Cordero di Montezemolo and Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago signed the candidate application at Rome’s city hall.
A statement from the Rome committee says, “thus begins a path of construction and sharing for the capital of a plan that will offer athletes and the entire world the chance to experience the Olympic spirit and emotions in a setting of incomparable beauty. No other city in the world can offer an artistic, historical and cultural heritage that stretches over such an ample arc of time, which will allow Olympic competitions to be held in the most spectacular and symbolic places of the Eternal City”.
Rome’s bid is expected to include many of the venues used for the 1960 Games, including the Benito Mussolini-inspired Foro Italico complex that includes the athletics and soccer stadium, plus swimming, diving and tennis facilities.
Rome is considering a budget of 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) – $2 billion of which would be covered by the IOC.
Rome last bid for the 2020 Olympic Games but withdrew months after the campaign began when it failed to receive financial support from then Prime Minister Mario Monti while Italy was suffering from an economic downturn.
The nation’s economy is still recovering and the city is now trying to regain exposure after a recent corruption scandal over public contracts that has led to resignations.
The city also mounted a failed attempt for the 2004 Games, coming second to Athens.
In all, Rome has bid for the Games eight times, winning twice but only hosting once. The 1908 edition was scheduled in Rome but organizers moved the Games to London after the 1906 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius forced the diversion of funds to the reconstruction of Naples instead. Rome hosted the Games in 1960.
Hamburg sent in its letter Wednesday while Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest are also in the running.
The IOC deadline for national Olympic Committees to name bid cities in writing is Tuesday. The host city will be selected in 2017.