2024 Olympics: Budapest Withdrawal Evokes Minimal Response from former Rivals Los Angeles and Paris
Tom Szigeti 2017.02.23.
In the wake of last night’s decision to withdraw Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics, reactions on the part of media outlets in France and the United States have been relatively muted, with one outlet commenting that LA and Paris have been the favorites to host the games “from the start” anyway.
The move to withdraw the bid comes in the wake of a successful signature drive on the part of the Hungarian Momentum Movement’s “NOLIMPIA” campaign, which was pushing for a city-wide referendum on Budapest’s plans to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Reacting to the news of Budapest’s withdrawal, the Los Angeles Times commented that the move “probably won’t have a tremendous effect on the overall race” given the paper’s view that “from the start, Los Angeles and Paris were considered the favorites to stage the Games.”
Rather, according to the Times, the decision to withdraw the Hungarian capital from the running to host the 2024 Games is a black eye for the International Olympic Committee, “which in recent years has struggled to find willing hosts.”
Citing earlier decisions on the part of Rome, Hamburg, and Boston to drop out of the race due to the financial strains of hosting, the Times argued that Budapest’s defection further weakens the IOC’s stated goal to extend the Olympics to midsize cities, and “could revive concerns that only large cities can realistically hope to win the Games.”
The paper went on to explain that Los Angeles and Paris have stated their ability to host the Games while maintaining a balanced budget, due to both cities’ existing stadium and arena infrastructures.
The Times also did a bit of plugging for its own city’s Olympic bid, writing that “the LA 2024 committee, in particular, has said it can cover an estimated $5.3 billion in costs with revenues earned from sources such as broadcast rights, corporate sponsorships and ticket sales.”
And as of this morning, French newspapers had not reacted much to the withdrawal of one of Paris’ two remaining rivals to host the 17-day Olympic Games. According to a report in Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet, Parisian daily Le Figaro did not even write about the event, while Le Monde drew on an article written by Hungarian wire service MTI, and essentially only wrote about the Momentum Movement’s successful signature drive.
French newspaper Le Parisien likewise drew its own article from the Hungarian wire service, while adding that, in the paper’s view, Hungary’s main basis for being a candidate to host the games was the enormous Olympic successes the small Central European nation has achieved.