POSTED: January 28th 2016

Olympics: No referendum for Budapest and Rome 2024 Summer Games bids

Hungary's Supreme Court decided last week to block the referendum request / Bigstock
Hungary's Supreme Court decided last week to block the referendum request / Bigstock

Calls for a referendum in Rome by the radical party haven't gained much momentum / Bigstock
Calls for a referendum in Rome by the radical party haven't gained much momentum / Bigstock

DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ / Sports Features Communications  

(SFC) Unlike their counterparts in Hamburg, Germany, the bid committees for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics of Budapest, Hungary and Rome, Italy will not have to await a public vote of support for their efforts to bring the Games to their cities.

Los Angeles, California, USA and Paris, France have already confirmed their intentions to bid to the 2024 Games.  However, there was some worry that other cities might bow out at this early stage due to the need for a public referendum showing support for the bid prior to moving forward with the process. 

This happened with the bid proposed by Hamburg, Germany; which after confirming they would be one of the five cities to bid for the 2024 Olympics, abruptly withdrew their bid when a public referendum showed that 51.6% of voters did not support an Olympic bid.

But it will not happen for the other candidates.  For Budapest, the Hungarian Olympic Committee issued a series of statements that say there is bid, saying there is ''solid support and a powerful unity for the bid'; that "such referendum is neither required nor expected by the IOC'; and "there are no plans to hold a vote whether we should bid or not."  The Olympic Committee further stated that while the constitution allows citizens to collect signatures for a referendum, "no such initiative has been made, no such plans were communicated by any group'', and said the city of Budapest and the national parliament passed resolutions in favor of the bid with support of more than 80 percent.

As with Budapest, Rome also will not have a public vote regarding hosting the 2024 Olympic Games.  According to Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the city council of Rome almost unanimously in support of the bid, and added that the government has expressed maximum support, so we don't see the necessity" for a referendum.  President of the Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malago emphasized "no, no referendum", but added "this does not mean that we do not want to involve public opinion."

So it now looks like the International Olympic Committee has four viable candidates to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Stage 1 of the candidature process, which includes 'Vision, Games Concept and Strategy', must be submitted to the IOC by February 17.  Stage 2 covering 'Governance, Legal and Venue Funding' must be submitted by October 7; with Stage 3 including 'Games Delivery, Experience and Venue Legacy' due February 3, 2017.  Each city will also be visited by an IOC evaluation commission in February and March of 2017, with their report published in early June in time for the technical briefing with the bid cities later that month.  The vote for the winner of the bid will take place during the 130th IOC Session in Lima, Peru in September 2017.

**DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ is a tenured Senior Lecturer of Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.  He has been an academician for 16 years in the areas of sport business management, international tourism, and hospitality management - with special focus on the areas of sport marketing, sport finance, tourism, and facility/event management.  He speaks globally and is the author of numerous publications in these areas, as well as been actively involved in consulting projects working with a multitude of sport and community organizations ranging from grassroots efforts to hallmark events.  

Keywords · Budapest 2024 · Rome 2024 · Olympics · referendum

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