Rome’s 2024 Bid has a new leader – former Ferrari president Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo. Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago said Tuesday while announcing his appointment, “I don’t think anyone in Italy is as popular as Luca is abroad. That says it all”. He added, “no other name was taken into consideration”.
Luca Pancalli, president of Italy’s Paralympic committee, was named vice president of the bid committee.
The opposition party 5-Star Movement was less enthusiastic, citing debts and abandoned construction projects from the 1990 World Cup.
The party noted that nearly 35 years will have passed between the 1990 event and the 2024 Games. The party released a statement saying, “the sports culture in Italy has always been and is still made up of great projects and great disasters. So Montezemolo will be the perfect Olympic flag bearer”.
Rome’s bid is expected to include many of the venues used for the 1960 Games – the Foro Italico complex that includes the athletics and football stadium, as well as swimming, diving and tennis facilities. It could also involve venues in other Italian cities or even the Vatican.
Meanwhile Rome Mayor Ignazio Mario has expressed concern over debts and failed construction projects from the 1960 Games, the 1990 World Cup and the 2009 swimming world championships in the capital.
Mario said the city is still paying off debts from the 1960 Games and cited a failed rail project from the World Cup. He also pointed to a half-completed sports arena and swimming pool complex designed by architect Santiago Calatrava on the outskirts of the city for the 2009 worlds that cost an estimated 400 million Euros ($450 million).
He said Sunday, “I want an opposite model, a city that invests for the good of its citizens and an Olympics that helps improve the quality of life, transportation and urban planning”.
Rome is considering a budget of 6 billion Euros (about $7 billion) – $2 billion of which would be covered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The bid committee’s budget will be 5 to 10 million Euros ($6-$12 million).
Rome and Boston are the only declared bid cities for the 2024 Games. Germany is to decide between Berlin and Hamburg and Paris, Budapest, Doha and Melbourne are also considering bids. The IOC will to select the host city for the 2024 Summer Olympics in 2017.