Rome’s half-run 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid campaign spent 13 million euros (USD $14.2 million) before Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò was forced to suspend operations last week.
“Around 13 million euros was spent. Expenditure that cannot be recovered,” Malagò said to Radio 24.
The amount spent aligns with the bid’s initial budget that allowed for just over 13 million euros through the first two stages. The third stage of the campaign will be kicked off by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in December. Rival bids have budgeted higher amounts.
Fourteen months into the two-year campaign, Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi – who was elected on an anti-Olympic bid platform – prompted City Council to pull municipal support for the Eternal City’s bid, rendering it virtually dead. Malagò outlined the situation to IOC President Thomas Bach in a letter earlier in the month describing his candidature “suspended.”
Though Malagò had held onto hope that bid operations could resume should Raggi’s tenuous position as Mayor fail before the end of the year, it seems that window is closing fast.
Bach wrote back to Malagò indicating that “the IOC has taken note of the withdrawal of the Candidature of Rome for the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad,” wording that makes it seem like a more permanent end to the campaign. The IOC declined to elaborate further on Bach’s letter.
Malagò also changed his tone on the situation this week.
“The Rome 2024 bid process stopped this week,” he said.
“Rome’s withdrawal compromised other Italian bids.
“The IOC has become diffident towards the Italian political world and those who have changed their mind”.
Malagò said it would have been possible to change the bid to another Italian city, but that option was not considered under the circumstances. But the CONI President said he would consider a Milan bid for the 2028 Games should Los Angeles win the 2024 campaign – that would leave the window open for a European city to host.
Budapest and Paris are the other two European cities in the race that will end when the IOC votes for a winner September 13 in Lima, Peru.