Approximately $14.3 million was spent on Rome’s aborted bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò.
Malagò wrote to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to officially suspend the Rome 2024 bid last week, with the Italian capital’s efforts looking doomed after support was withdrawn by the city’s Mayor Virginia Raggi.
“The Rome 2024 bid process stopped this week,” Malagò told Radio 24. “Around ($14.3 million) was spent. Expenditure that cannot be recovered.”
The idea of switching the bid to another Italian city was not pursued, according to Malagò, who has already advanced the idea of Milan hosting the 2019 IOC Session in a move which could form a possible bridge to a future bid if Rome 2024 is truly dead in the water.
“Rome’s withdrawal compromised other Italian bids,” he added.
“The IOC has become diffident towards the Italian political world and those who have changed their mind.”
This marks the second occasion on which Rome has filed an application to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, only to then suspend their efforts.
In February 2012, Italy’s then Prime Minister Mario Monti called an end to a bid for the 2020 Games, citing “uncertain costs and unknown financial benefit” at the peak of the financial crisis.
His decision was announced a day before the deadline for bidding cities to submit their application files, with Tokyo eventually awarded the Games.
Malagò has not ruled out Milan bidding for the 2028 Games, however, if the 2024 edition goes to Los Angeles, as opposed to either of the two European bidders, Budapest or Paris.
Earlier this week, IOC President Thomas Bach accused Rome authorities of taking a “politically motivated” decision to oppose the city’s bid for the 2024 Games.
In a letter addressed to Malagò, Bach is also full of praise for the Italian bid, which he claims would have left “a positive and sustainable legacy.”
Raggi, a member of the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement Party, claimed it would be “irresponsible” to continue with bidding efforts because it would drain funds and resources.
The bid is only likely to be resurrected if there is a leadership change in the City Council.
A host city for the 2024 Games is due to chosen by the IOC at their Session in Lima on September 13, 2017.
By Daniel Etchells
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.