POSTED: April 11th 2017

Olympics: Budapest left its mark on the 2024 bid campaign

Budapest will likely bid again to host the Games in the future © Bigstock
Budapest will likely bid again to host the Games in the future © Bigstock

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Budapest's contribution to the 2024 Olympic bid campaign was significant and the city has greatly benefitted from the massive strategic planning that was key to the overall plan.

This also lays a blueprint for the future if and when the Hungarian city decides to bid again.

Even though the Budapest 2024 Olympic bid fell out of the race against Los Angeles and Paris, the project plan left a positive legacy for future sports event hosting and planning for the mid-sized European city. 

At a time when many are calling for changes to the IOC bid process after two cities [Budapest and Hamburg] abandoned the race, the real base of the problem seems to be the ballooning costs and size of the actual event itself plus the escalating projections of staging it seven years down the road.

Any way you look at it bidding is still an extremely valuable way to elevate a city's brand on a particular world stage and put a spotlight on what a city has to offer. It reveals how people will attend the Games and experience a city and its sport, recreation, leisure, culture, and tourism in order to get to know the local customs. 

The upcoming FINA World Championships of swimming in July will be the next big sports party that the city will organize and are highly anticipated to be a big splash.

The many facets of the city were brought to the forefront during this bid cycle and Budapest had a chance to show off its unique diversity as an acclaimed Central European sports and tourism destination. It only fueled the desire to bring the Olympics to Hungary one day.

The Budapest 2024 team explained this in a white paper and bid leader, Balazs Furjes, explained in depth, "Our hopes of hosting the Olympic Games are still strong. We remain the only nation in the top ten Olympic medal winning countries that has not hosted the Games, and we continue to believe in our mid-size city model and hope to have the chance one day to prove the case."

"The Budapest 2024 master plan demonstrates that staging the Olympic Games is viable for mid-sized global cities like Budapest.

"Budapest was humbled and honored to receive enormous support from across the Olympic Movement for its innovative plans to bring the spectacle of the Olympic Games and sport back to the heart of the city and back to the people.

"This taught us about the scale, complexity and challenges of putting on the Olympic Games, and also about the opportunities we have to learn from this experience to create a better city and to stage major international sporting events in the future, including the Olympic Games" Fürjes said.

"The Budapest Bid model takes the Games to global mid-sized cities and provides new destinations and markets for the Olympic Movement in architecturally, culturally and environmentally beautiful new and historic settings with modern infrastructure like Budapest that are popular with young people. Budapest's size and culture will make the Games a continuous Olympic celebration. This will reinforce the role and relevance of sport in modern society, and make the Games more accessible to people everywhere.

"Budapest has delivered a real alternative Games model for the Olympic Movement - a model that provides the Olympic Movement with a new generation of potential mid-sized host cities and shows that you don't have to be mega city to host big sporting events" Fürjes said.

"The Budapest Bid shows that mid-sized cities across the world can, once again, be considered genuine candidates to host future Games and are very much part of the Olympic Family.

"The Olympic Movement creates hope and the world needs hope and the Olympic Games. Budapest's Olympic dreams remain alive.

"No peace time project challenges a city or a country like an Olympic bid, and no other project brings so many legacies and opportunities for a city and a country to contribute to the world's biggest global event and gathering of nations united in sport.

"I would like to express my deep gratitude to the IOC staff, the international sporting federations, national Olympic committees and wider Olympic Family for the expertise and support we have received in helping to design our Olympic bid masterplan.

"Hungary fell in love with the Olympic Movement at first sight more than 120 years ago, when we offered to host the first Games of the modern Olympic era in 1896, and it has been an enduring love affair for us ever since.

"The Olympic Movement creates hope and the world needs hope and the Olympic Games," he concluded.

 The IOC will decide their final 2024 host city at the session in September this year and are likely to award the 2028 destination as well.

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-six years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · Budapest · Paris · Los Angeles

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