Berlin’s Olympic Bid Will Hinge On Last-Minute Referendum

If Berlin is chosen over Hamburg by Germany’s sports governing body (DOSB) to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, 2.5 million German citizens in the city will get the final say before the bid moves forward, Hamburger Abendblatt reported.

On Tuesday, the Berlin Senate scheduled a referendum for September 13, just two days before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requires nominations to be received in writing.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin (Photo: Thomas Wolf)
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin (Photo: Thomas Wolf)

The DOSB is set to choose either Berlin or Hamburg to bid for the 2024 Summer Games on March 21 after gauging public opinion and other fundamentals.  If chosen, Hamburg is considering its own referendum to be held in the same September timeframe.

In 2013, Munich’s application was withheld just days before the deadline when its constituents voted against a bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.  Munich placed second to PyeongChang, South Korea in the vote to host the Games in 2018.

Only Boston and Rome have committed bids for the 2024 Games but many other cities have discussed entering the race including Paris, Istanbul, Doha, Budapest, Melbourne, Baku and a city in South Africa.

After being nominated earlier this month, many in Boston have been calling for a municipal referendum on the bid.

The IOC will select its host in 2017.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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