The 2024 Olympics might be going all Hollywood for the Summer Games in eight years.
With the resignation of Rome and Italy canceling its bid to host, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has only three remaining candidates, Paris, Budapest, and Los Angeles.
Once thought to be a long shot, the odds on the Olympics returning to America have been steadily improving over the last few months. Boston was the original pick of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), but following a public outcry in July of 2015, the city opted to drop its offer.
Los Angeles’ City Council voted 15-0 to support its own bid, and the USOC, with its back up against the wall, selected Los Angeles as its nominee in January.
USOC officials weren’t overly optimistic that Los Angeles had a realistic chance. With the 2016 Olympics being hosted in Rio de Janeiro, marking the first Olympics held in South America, the general opinion was that the IOC would look to Africa to finish off all of the continents (with the exception of Antarctica, of course).
But after the controversial and scandal-filled Rio games, the IOC is now expected to look for a city with more solid footing that’s capable of hosting the international spectacle. However, most major cities no longer want to host the Olympics.
“The games overrun with 100 percent consistency,” University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School wrote in 2013. “No other type of mega project is this consistent regarding cost overrun. Other project types are typically on budget from time to time.”
LA, Budapest, Paris
Paris is emerging as the favorite for the 2024 Olympics.
Betfair has Paris at 4/6 to win the hosting gig, and Coral lists the City of Light at 8/13. Los Angeles is second at the offshore books and overseas betting shops.
While the IOC is staying quiet on Rome’s cancellation, IOC President Thomas Bach paid a special visit to Paris where he presented the city with an Olympic flag from the 1924 Paris games.
By all accounts, Bach and the IOC likes what they see in Paris. Should the French capital win, it would return the Summer Games to Paris for a third time (1900, 1924).
“The Paris bid is a very, very strong bid because of the unity and the large support it is sparking off,” Bach told the Associated Press. “Personally, I’m very impressed by the unity among both the sporting and political worlds.”
Let Them Have It
In the 1980s, hosting an Olympics was not only a way to show off one’s city, but also a way for cities to create jobs and bring in new revenue.
Those days are long gone. Today, hosting an Olympics is a costly endeavor that comes with serious financial risks. The 2004 Athens Olympics cost Greece $14.5 billion.
The Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 cost a record $51 billion, and two years later Russia is still trying to pay for the games.
Rio is looking at a $5 billion tab, while the rest of its country is in financial turmoil.
California has had its own financial woes in recent years, which is why some might not be disappointed if Paris gets the green light from the IOC when it votes next September.