POSTED: December 15th 2014
NewsUpdate

Rome launches a whole new multi-city Olympic bid for 2024 and might include the Vatican

CONI President Gianni Malago at the launch in the CONI headquarters in Rome / CONI
CONI President Gianni Malago at the launch in the CONI headquarters in Rome / CONI

MARISSA FLANDERS / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Two years after Italy scrapped their bid for the 2020 Games due to financial concerns, Italian Premier Matteo Renzi announced today that Rome will bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games. 

Renzi said that Rome will propose a cost-conscious bid, taking advantage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach's approved reforms, which will allow bid cities to hold events outside the host city.

At the Italian Olympic Committee headquarters, Premier Matteo Renzil stated, "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...We will be at the vanguard for all the spending controls."

Italy did have the privilege to host the 1960 Olympics. However, Italy's 2020 bid was dropped after then-Premier Mario Monti would not provide any financial backing during a time of economic crisis.

Even with Italy's economy still stagnant, and a growing corruption scandal in Rome, Italy will push forward with their bid.

Renzi comment, "Our country too often seems hesitant...It's unacceptable not to try."

Rome is budgeting for 6 billion euros ($7.5 billion USD), of which the IOC will cover $2 billion. This is roughly half of what London spent for the 2012 Games.

CONI President Giovanni Malago stated, "I don't want to get into details but that's a fairly realistic number...My dream is to have a bid supported with private money."

In addition, Italy is only the second country to announce their intention to bid. Germany has already declared their desire to submit a bid from either Berlin or Hamburg, they will select one city in March.

Furthermore, the United States Olympic Committee will decide whether to submit a bid on Tuesday. Four cities are vying to be the U.S. candidate, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington. Also a Paris bid is likely to be approved by France, next year.

There are many more possible contenders, which include Doha, Qatar; Baku, Azerbaijan; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Budapest, Hungary; Istanbul, Turkey; and a province or city in South Africa.

Notably, the Rome bid is expected to feature the Foro Italico complex, which includes the athletics and football stadium, swimming, diving, and tennis facilities, along with other venues used for the 1960 Games.

The deadline for submission of bids will be September of 2015, and the IOC will select the 2024 host city in 2017.

There is also the possibility that Italy will propose holding numerous events outside of Rome, like basketball and volleyball competitions, in cities located up and down the peninsula.

"The bid will obviously be centered on Rome," Renzi commented, "But it will also involve Florence, Naples and Sardinia."

With the IOC passing the new reforms last week, they have encouraged host cities to use temporary or existing venues. Even including that host cities can hold events outside the city.

Thus, Italian news reports have interpreted this to mean that the Vatican could host select events. Archery, for instance, would be held in another unique venue for that sport.

International Tennis Federation President Francesco Ricci Bitti told the Associated Press (AP), "St. Peter's Square could fit right in - if the Pope agrees." Bitti also heads the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

The undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, which operates the Vatican sport department, Monsignor Melchor Sanchez de Toca, stated that CONI officials have a very good relationship with the office and there have been discussions about the Olympic bid and other areas for collaboration.

He told the AP, "But no commitments have been made." He did add that CONI would be present during the Mass celebration, at the Vatican on Friday, for the committee's 100th anniversary. 

Even though Rome was the first city to announce their intention to bid for the 2020 Games, in February 2012 Monti stated that the government would not provide the financial guarantees that were required. Now, two premiers later, Italy's youth employment has topped 40 percent, and is still mired in recession.

Three-time Olympic canoe champion Antonio Rossi said, "We need to see what the people think." The new politician, in the northern Lombardy region, added, "Let's not forget that 2 1/2 years ago the polls said 90 percent of Italians agreed with Monti's 'No.'"

**MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog: http://www.thepenshockeyshow.com.


Keywords · CONI · IOC · Olympic · Thomas Bach · Rome · Italy · 2024 Olympic Games


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