POSTED: October 27th 2016

DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ: Political issues on the minds of 2024 Olympic Bid countries

THE DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ COLUMN in SHANGHAI / An authoritative and exclusive series from Sports Features Communications

(SFC) With the election for a new President coming up in the next 10 days, it seemed like a good time to look at some of the political issues that may have a direct effect on the bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games being contented by Budapest, Hungary; Los Angeles, USA; and Paris, France.

As we also know, the madness of the Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump face-off for the Presidency of the United States will finally come to an end on Tuesday, November 8 when Americans go to the polls.  Many in the United States have claimed that the election has made a mockery of their democracy, and people from around the world have been incredulous at the entire process.  But when Clinton or Trump wins, will that settle down anything with the political (and resulting social) upheaval in the United States?  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said during his visit to the Rio Games that "this bid does not depend on any election" but also went on to say that he had heard IOC members were concerned if Trump became President.  But nobody is saying that Clinton as President would be a boost either.  At least one political issue has been solved - the long-running issues between the IOC and the USOC as related to uneven revenue distribution seem to have ended...

In France, they also have an election coming up in April and May 2017.  While President Francois Hollande is eligible to run for a second term, current polls have the president in 5th place.  This raises questions as to whether the same support will come from the French government in the crucial last four months before the vote on September 13, 2017, in Lima, Peru at the 130th IOC Session.   Apparently, this is of no concern to co-President of the Paris 2024 bid Tony Estanguet: "the Paris bid is fully backed by the mayor and the city hall... [and] at the national level, all the parties supported the bid... and we're now sure that whatever the result of any political elections, it won't affect the bid."

Budapest had the most stable political environment of the three until earlier this month where the Budapest election committee approved an initiative by a journalist o hold a city referendum on the bid to host the 2024 Olympics.  This is the third time this has been attempted - with the previous two submitted by investigative journalist Katalin Erdelyi being summarily rejected by the Supreme Court in February 2017, and the National Election Committee (NEC) earlier this month.  However, the third effort on Thursday, October 6 was approved by the NEC.  If the referendum is not blocked by the Supreme Court, the group must get a petition signed by 10% of the Budapest population (since this would be a city-only vote, not a nationwide vote) within 30 days.  This would be approximately 176,000 signatures based on a reported population of 1.76 million.  So it is still not all smooth sailing for this bid either...

So it seems politics will play a crucial part in the bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics - and many things seem set to shake out in the next few weeks - especially in LA and Budapest.  We here at will be keeping our eye on these issues and provide updates as we get them.

**DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ is a tenured Senior Lecturer of Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. He has been an academician for 15 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 · Olympics · 2024 Games

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