Budapest, Hungary, has withdrawn its bid to host the 2024 Olympics, reports the Associated Press, citing a Hungarian government spokesperson. The withdrawal technically has to be voted upon by the Hungary City Assembly, but there is no doubt that it will pass.
Budapest was one of the last three contenders to host the Games, along with Los Angeles and Paris. Last week an anti-Olympics group announced they had collected enough signatures to put withdrawing the bid up for a citywide referendum. Recent polling showed that a plurality of Budapest residents were against hosting the Olympics and its assorted costs, signaling the withdrawal referendum was likely to succeed.
As politicians and citizens become wised up to the onerous conditions placed upon host cities by the International Olympic Committee, and the billions in public dollars that must be spent on non-necessary infrastructure that will inevitably be left to rot after the Games, they are coming to the conclusion that hosting the Olympics isn’t worth it.
Boston was originally the United States’s candidate to host the 2024 Games, but withdrew after facing vocal opposition from residents, and declining poll numbers. Rome’s bid was opposed by the city’s mayor and other officials, citing the city and country’s financial woes, and it was eventually suspended. Hamburg’s bid was pulled after residents voted it down in a referendum.
Los Angeles and Paris are both huge cities with the necessary infrastructure to host an event as massive as the Olympics, and already have basically all of the necessary venues for each sport. That doesn’t mean the IOC won’t force them to build new venues, or that they won’t have to spend massive amounts of money on security and law enforcement and feting IOC officials, but the total outlay should be dramatically less than what Athens, Beijing, and Rio de Janeiro have spent on recent Games.