On Saturday, 410 Members of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) unanimously approved Hamburg as its candidate for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games over its rival Berlin.
Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz said, “it can’t be that everyone enjoys looking at Olympic Games but doesn’t trust us to organize them. We can do it”.
DOSB President Alfons Hoermann called the decision a “turning point” for German sports, and that Hamburg’s bid will be orientated toward the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) reforms for more transparency. He said,”we want to be an example for an Olympic and Paralympic future”. He praised Hamburg’s “fascinating and compact Olympic concept”.
Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller said the German capital would support Hamburg’s bid despite its own disappointment of losing out. Mueller said, “it still hurts”.
Hamburg’s concept involves the Games being held in the Kleiner Grasbrook area, technically an island but only a 10-minute walk from the city centre, that would be the Olympic park.
According to the plan every venue would be accessible on foot or by bicycle. On Saturday officials unveiled a concept that also includes the Opening Ceremony being held in the city and the water, rather than in the Olympic stadium
Hamburg’s bid will have to pass a referendum later this year in the city, which has a population of about 1.7 million. A recent poll commissioned by the committee showed 64 per cent of Hamburg’s residents backed an Olympic bid.
The DOSB has until Sept. 15 to officially present Hamburg as a candidate to the IOC. Boston and Rome have already announced bids for the 2024 Games and Paris is expected to join the race.
The host city will be selected in 2017.
Hamburg is expected to bid for the 2028 Olympics if it loses the 2024 Games. Germany has not staged an Olympics since the 1972 Summer Games in Munich. Munich failed in a bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics and dropped a planned bid for the 2022 Winter Games after it was rejected in a referendum.