Hamburg officially named Germany's bid for 2024 Games

Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:02am EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters) - Hamburg officially became Germany's bid for the 2024 summer Olympics after the country's Olympic committee (DOSB) members unanimously accepted the board's proposal on Saturday.

Hamburg beat Berlin on Monday with the DOSB board putting the northern port city, which enjoy higher local support for the Games than the capital, forward as its preferred choice.

"We are united in our longing for the Olympics," Alfons Hoermann, DOSB president told the organization's membership. "We can and want to be a role model for a new Olympic and Paralympic concept of the future."

Boston and Rome have already officially launched their candidacy with several more cities, including Paris, Doha, Istanbul and Baku, seen as possible contenders until the Sept. 15 deadline.

Hamburg, which hopes to use centrally-located land near the port to build some of the venues in a compact inner-city concept, will now need to stage a local referendum by September.

Officials are eager to shore up support before handing in their candidacy by Sept. 15 in order to avoid strong opposition during the two-year campaign period until a decision by the International Olympic Committee in 2017.

Hamburg's concept involves the Games being held in the Kleiner Grasbrook area, technically an island but only a 10-minute walk from the city center, that would become the Olympic park.

The plan is to have every venue accessible on foot or by bicycle while officials unveiled on Saturday a concept that also includes the opening ceremony held in the city and the water rather than in the Olympic stadium.

Germany last hosted the summer Games in 1972 while Berlin and Leipzig had failed attempts in past years. Munich also failed in its effort to host the 2018 winter Olympics.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

General view of the harbour of Hamburg with construction site of the Philharmonic Hall and Harbour City, September 23, 2012.  REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer