The race is on.
Italy has offered Rome as its nomination to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, the first city to be confirmed in a campaign that is set to be kicked-off by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on January 15.
”The Italian government, together with CONI, is ready to do its part for a project that isn’t based on great infrastructures or big dreams but rather great people,” Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said according to AP.
”We will be at the vanguard for all the spending controls.”
Rome was also the first declared applicant for the 2020 Games but pulled out early, on February 14, 2012, when required funding could not be realized. Italy’s then Prime Minister Mario Monti called off the bid citing the uncertain costs and risks that would have been intolerable during a time of national financial crisis.
Yet the crisis continues with Youth unemployment remaining at crippling levels – reportedly 43.3% in October.
But this time, the bid will leverage cost-cutting and sustainability strategies that are now allowed by the IOC after the organization passed several so-called “Agenda 2020” reforms at its Session in Monaco last week. While the bid is planned be centred in Rome, the cities of Florence, Naples and Sardinia will also be involved and some preliminary team events could be scattered across the country.
Prior to the new reforms, the IOC had emphasized the need for compact plans that remained in-an-around a single city. But while proposing a less compact yet sustainable plan may now be in accordance with IOC rules, cities that offer smaller footprints may continue to hold a competitive advantage when the members vote for a winner.
Rome also bid for the Games in 2004, but lost on the final ballot to Athens 66 to 41. The city last hosted the Olympic Games in 1960.
”The Italian government, together with CONI, is ready to do its part for a project that isn’t based on great infrastructures or big dreams but rather great people.”
Agenda 2020 also pushed the bid schedule forward by months as the IOC has introduced a new invitation stage that will allow prospective bids to engage the organization in a consultative capacity before papers are filed and fees are paid. The intention is to allow both parties understand whether synergies exist and if a bid has merits moving forward. An official nomination must be made in writing to the IOC by September 15, 2015.
Over the next few weeks, more cities are expected to come forward. On Tuesday the USOC will meet with Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington to determine whether the American Olympic body will move forward with a bid for the 2024 Games. A nomination could be announced immediately or within the next few weeks.
Germany’s DOSB has already declared a firm commitment to bid for the Games and have narrowed the list to Berlin and Hamburg. Public support is low in the cities and Germany was forced to withhold Munich as a potential 2020 Winter Games host when a referendum was lost, but the DOSB has planned new votes and a final city selection by the end of March.
France is expected to propose Paris in January and other bids are rumoured from Doha, Baku, Istanbul, Budapest, Melbourne and a yet-to-be-named city in South Africa.
The IOC will make its final selection in 2017 at the 130th IOC Session in Lima, Peru.