Bach says IOC will test public support among bidders

Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:22am EDT
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By Brian Homewood

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will conduct its own research to judge public support for hosting the 2024 Summer Games in each of the five bidding cities, its president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.

Budapest, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome were officially unveiled as candidates to host the Games on Wednesday in what Bach described as a strong and diverse field.

The IOC was rocked by a disappointing campaign for the 2022 Winter Games, where St Moritz/Davos, Munich and Krakow dropped planned bids or pulled out of the race after public referendums voted against a bid.

To revive interest, it has 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.

"The IOC wants to send the athletes only in cities where they are welcome, this is why public support for a bid is so important," Bach told Reuters in an interview at the IOC headquarters.

"To ensure the measurement of this public support, the IOC is doing its own confidential polls at the same time in all five candidate cities, so that we get an objective result which we then can compare.

"It is up to the city how to demonstrate this support, there are many different means, different legal systems, all over the world so this is up to the city."

Hamburg is so far the only city to have plans for a referendum with the city holding it on Nov. 29 and hoping for a strong vote in favor of the Games.   Continued...

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach gestures during an interview with Reuters at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, September 16, 2015.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse