IOC unveils five candidates for 2024 Summer Games
By Karolos Grohmann
(Reuters) - Los Angeles is in the running to host a third Olympics while Hamburg, Paris, Rome and Budapest will battle to bring the multi-sport extravaganza back to Europe after the five cities were officially unveiled as candidates to host the 2024 Summer Games on Wednesday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), which will select the winning bid in 2017, announced the final list after the deadline for submissions ended at midnight (central European time) on Tuesday.
"The IOC welcomes five outstanding cities to this strong competition," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a conference call.
Bach added that Azerbaijan's Baku, which hosted the inaugural European Games in June, had also considered running and held talks with the IOC before deciding to wait for a possible 2028 bid.
After a disappointing campaign for the 2022 Winter Games, where just two candidates -- Kazakhstan's Almaty and eventual winner Beijing -- stayed in the race after four others pulled out due to financial concerns or a lack of public support, the IOC is keen to restore the image of the Olympics as a lucrative prospect.
It adopted a series of reforms under the banner 'Agenda 2020' which were aimed at making it easier to bid for, and cheaper to host, the Olympics.
In a bidding race predicted to be the most hotly contested for at least a decade, Los Angeles, the United States' second choice after Boston pulled out amid fears over cost overruns, is hoping to stage the Games for a third time after 1932 and 1984.
Paris, which had a failed bid for the 2012 Olympics, is eager to host a centennial Summer Games after the city staged the event for a second and last time in 1924. It is being seen as an early frontrunner along with Los Angeles. Continued...