Paris mayor gives backing to 2024 Games bid

Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:09pm EDT
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PARIS (Reuters) - The mayor of Paris on Monday gave her blessing to a bid for the 2024 Olympics and asked local city officials to get to work on shaping a detailed plan for the Games.

Anne Hidalgo, who initially asked for more time to study the possibility after President Francois Hollande publicly backed the idea last November, said she had been convinced by a report produced by French sports officials on the advantages.

"These very useful exchanges confirmed it makes sense for Paris to bid for this unique sporting event," she said in a statement.

Paris is still smarting after losing out on the 2012 Games to London. Boston and Rome have announced their candidacies for 2024 and Hamburg was named as Germany's bidding city at the weekend.

A feasibility study on holding the Games in Paris put the potential cost at 6.2 billion euros ($6.77 billion).

Backers say construction costs would be limited because the Paris region already has top-quality sporting facilities, such as the Roland Garros tennis center and the Stade de France.

France last hosted the Winter Olympics in Albertville in 1992 and the Summer Games in Paris in 1924.

Hidalgo will put the decision to a vote by the Paris city council in April before announcing her final decision. September is the deadline for candidate cities to submit their bids, with the International Olympic Committee due to decide in 2017.

(Reporting by Mark John, editing by Ed Osmond)

Paris city mayor Anne Hidalgo delivers a speech during the presentation of the feasibility study for a potential bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, at the Paris city hall, February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes