The race for the 2024 Olympics officially commenced on Wednesday as Rome, Paris, Budapest and Los Angeles all submitted their bid plans to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
This bid contest is the first time the IOC will decide the host based on their adherence to the Agenda 2020 reforms, designed to make hosting the Olympics cheaper by using existing facilities and simplifying the bid process.
Here is an analysis of the bids of the two frontrunners, Paris and Los Angeles.
Paris 2024 bid officials have promised a low cost Olympics with long-lasting benefits to infrastructure and no white elephants.
At a presentation attended by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday, organisers unveiled a plan which included 95 percent existing or temporary venues. The main construction requirements would be a new aquatics centre, the Olympic village and a main media centre.
“Paris, as one of the world’s most iconic and cosmopolitan cities, would provide a unique and stunning backdrop for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games through its historic landmarks and breathtaking venues,” bid co-chairman Bernard Lapasset said.
The cycling road races are expected to finish beneath the Arc de Triomphe and the equestrian events in the gardens of the Versailles palace. The Stade de France and the Roland Garros tennis centre would also be used, while the beach volleyball would take place in the city centre by the Eiffel Tower.
The infrastructure budget for a Paris Games has been estimated to be in the region of three billion euros with operational costs of 3.2 billion euros. In addition, it is thought that candidates for the 2024 race will spend around 54 million euros during the bidding phase.
A total of 36 sports venues will be divided between two clusters in downtown Paris and in the Saint-Denis suburb.
The athletes village would be in the Saint Denis region, guaranteeing short journey times to the major venues for 85 percent of the athletes, while the Le Bourget conference centre which recently hosted the media for the COP21 meetings has been touted as the main press centre.
Whereas Paris organisers put forward a bid plan half-privately financed, LA24 officials confirmed on Wednesday their plan would be fully funded from private investment.
American organisers added that $35 million had already been secured in cash from private donors within three weeks of launching their bid last September.
“That is the definition of sustainability in terms of legacy and cost,” said Casey Wasserman, chairman of the Los Angeles 2024 bid . “There’s no risk involved with venues or facilities.”
Bid officials emphasized no further infrastructure development beyond what is already planned for the West-coast city would be needed, and would instead focus resources on making a Los Angeles Games the “first energy positive” Olympics, such as using solar power.
With regard to the layout of LA24, officials have proposed splitting the Olympics into four clusters: downtown Los Angeles, the San Fernando valley, the South Bay and along the coast.
The Los Angeles Coliseum, used for the 1980 Olympics, would host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics, while the aquatics events would be held in a temporary pool situated at the LA football club stadium.
Elsewhere, organisers said the college campuses would function as part of the existing facilities for the Games. The downtown cluster would be centred around the USC buildings, while UCLA would host volleyball, hockey and act as the Olympic village.